Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby and childcare recipes

Before my blog re-do this was a big feature.  Here it is again!! Stay tuned for a post on how to keep your little ones healthy via homeopaths and natural remedies during cold season



                                                        Basic Baby Powder  
Use after bath or diaper changes to soothe & protect delicate skin. These pure ingredients absorb      moisture that can cause irritation and chafing.
                                                        2 oz. Kaolin Clay
                                                       1 oz. Arrowroot
                                                       ½ tsp. myrrh powder
                                                       ½ tsp. comfrey leaf powder
                                                      ½ tsp. slippery elm bark powder
                                                      3-5 drops Lavender Essential Oil 
                Combine together & sift through a fine mesh sifter. Put into an air-tight container.  

                                                         Oil Treatment for Head Lice
                                                                 (EO=Essential Oil)
                                                              10 drops Rosemary EO
                                                              10 drops Lavender EO
                                                              10 drops Geranium EO
                                                   10 drops Eucalyptus EO (or Tea Tree EO)
                                                       2 oz. Sweet Almond oil – as base
 Combine the essential oils with the base oil & mix well. Rub oil throughout hair & leave treatment on for at least 1-2 hours. Apply shampoo & rinse hair well. Comb the hair with a nit comb after shampooing. Repeat the procedure in a few days. Be VERY careful when applying oil near eyes. If essential oil does get in the eyes, wipe it out with plain sweet almond oil, NOT water. The water can disperse the oil too quickly.  

                                                         Natural Bug Repellent Spray
                                                             4 drops of Peppermint EO
                                                             4 drops of Geranium EO
                                                             4 oz. of distilled water
 Combine the essential oils with water in a small 4 oz. spray bottle. Spray clothing & exposed skin, avoiding areas around the eyes, mouth, & nose. The peppermint will help cool you off on a hot day as well. Also, spray hat or hair to keep bugs from buzzing around your head.  

                                                                       Cold & Flus
FLOWER ESSENCES: available at most natural foods store, are gentle healing remedies made from flowers & plants. They work well with children & can be used in conjunction with any type of medication without causing complications or side effects. Good to use with children in times of stress. Rescue Remedy: add to bathwater or give a drop of two under the child’s tongue several times daily. This remedy produces a calming, centering feeling & is excellent during times of stress or trauma. Can be used on pets as well. NOTE: LOVE this for teething too, I give her a few drops right before bed

 At the first sign of a cold or flu, start giving your child frequent, higher than normal doses of Echinacea tinctures. For ex: a child of 4 would take 1/8 tsp. of Echinacea tincture every hour until the symptoms subside.

                                                                  Fever Reducing Tea
                                                                      2 parts catnip
                                                                      2 parts elder blossoms
                                                                      1 part peppermint
                                                                      1 part Echinacea root
Mix herbs & store in an airtight container. Add 1 C. boiling water to 1 tsp. of the mixture & steep for 1 hr. Administer every 30 min. See dosage chart for guidelines.  

                                                    Apple Cider Vinegar Treatments
To lower a fever, bathe the child in a tepid bath.  Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into the tub.  Be certain there are no drafts in the room.  After the bath, quickly wrap the child in a warm flannel sheet.  Placing a drop or two of diluted pure chamomile essential oil on the sheet is very helpful.
Another treatment is to wrap the child's feet in a cool cloth that has been dipped in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.  Keep the child bundled warmly.

                                                                  Elderberry Syrup  
                                       This is the most popular herbal cold remedy in Europe.
 Use ONLY blue elderberries; the red ones are potentially toxic if eaten in large quantities. Never eat elderberries that have not been cooked first.
                                                      1 C. fresh or ½ C. dried elderberries
                                                                         3 C. water
                                                                         1 C. honey
Place the berries in a saucepan & cover with water. Simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes. Smash the berries and strain them through a fin mesh strainer. Add 1 C. honey, or adjust to taste. Bottle and store in the refrigerator. Will last 2-3 months when refrigerated.  

                                                             Ginger Echinacea Syrup  
This syrup is a delicious syrup that is very effective. Other herbs can be added such as: wild cherry bark & licorice for cough, valerian for restlessness, and elecampane for respiratory infection.

                                                          1 part fresh gingerroot, grated or chopped
                                                           1 part dried Echinacea root
 Follow the directions for making a syrup. Ginger is very warming. If the syrup is too “hot” for your child’s taste, serve the syrup diluted in warm water or tea.  

                                       Herbal Steam for Runny Nose & Head Congestion  
                  An instant remedy for sinus congestion & runny noses is an old time herbal steam.
Heat a large pot of water until steaming, add a drop or two of eucalyptus oil & have the child inhale this steam. If you grow eucalyptus you can add leaves to steam. Cover the child’s head & the pan with a large towel & treat for 5-10 minutes or until the sinuses open up. Instruct the child to keep her eyes closed tight, as the herbal oils can make them water & cause some discomfort. Because you are using a large container o hot water, ALWAYS stay by the child. Do NOT use the steam for children under 4 yrs. Old. You can also add some eucalyptus oil to a dehumidifier. Just a few drops though. NOTE: We have found that 5-6 drops works great for Audrey in the humidifier. Be sure for babies under 2 years old that it’s eucalyptus radiate and NOT globulus! I also, love to put lavender with the eucalyptus.  

                                              Treating Lung & Chest Congestion
A hot water bottle placed over the back between the shoulder blades helps loosen up phlegm & deep-seated congestion in the chest. Wrap a hot water bottle in cotton flannel to keep in the heat. NOTE: Do NOT put Vicks or any Vapo-Rub type salve on babies chests. Sometimes, this is known to collapse already stopped up airways! Scary stuff!!  

                                                           What to Feed a Cold
 What & how much a sick child eats will greatly affect the degree of illness. All dairy products, especially milk & ice cream, tend to make the symptoms of a cold worse. Sugar-rich foods should be avoided, so should orange juice, in spite of what the ads say. A large ice-cold glass of orange juice, no matter how good it tastes, is very acidic & will create more mucus & congestion. Instead, try a hot lemonade made with fresh squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of ginger, and a little honey or maple syrup to sweeten. Lemons provide Vitamin C, are alkalizing, and will help prevent illness. Grandma’s chicken soup (or miso or vegetable broth, if vegetarian) is really the best thing to eat when you have a cold or flu. The mineral rich broth, fluid, and warmth are all beneficial. You an also add medicinal herbs directly to the soup base. For example, Astragalus, dandelion root, burdock root, Echinacea, & even ginseng can be added for extra strength, nourishment, and vitality. Tie the herbs up in the cheese cloth & simmer in the broth with the soup. Remove before serving.  

                                                  Tea for Lung and Chest Congestion
                                                         2 parts licorice root
                                                         1 part Echinacea
                                                         1 part elecampane
                                                         1 part cinnamon
                                                         ½ part ginger
You can adjust flavors by adding more licorice, cinnamon & ginger to formula if needed. Combine ingredients & store in airtight container. Follow directions for a decoction. See chart on dosage.  

                                               Cough Be Gone & Sore Throat Syrup
                                                          2 parts slippery elm bark
                                                          2 parts valerian
                                                          2 parts wild cherry bark
                                                          2 parts licorice root
                                                          4 parts fennel seeds
                                                          1 part cinnamon bark
                                                          ½ part gingerroot
                                                          1/8 part orange peel
 Combine all ingredients & store in airtight container. Make a decoction following instructions. When finished, prepare syrup as instructed. See chart for dosage.  

                                                                For Sore Throats
                              Make a strong infusion of the tea & gargle for sore throat.
                                                                 1 part yarrow
                                                                 1 part sage
                                                                 1 part comfrey leaf
                                                                 1 part thyme
                               Combine & make tea as a strong infusion. Gargle for 1 minute.  

                                                                    Diaper Rash
Most diaper rashes respond readily to natural therapy. If the diaper rash is persistent & does not respond to natural therapies, it could be a herpes-related virus or yeast-type fungus. Consult your holistic practitioner or pediatrician in such cases.  

                                                          Reasons for Diaper Rash
Harsh, irritating detergents can leave a sopa residue on the diapers. Simply change soaps. Use mild detergents such as, Charlie’s powder. NEVER use bleach. Irritating foods affect the child’s digestive system. Spicy foods, citrus fruits, and other high-acid foods are major irritants. Teething, fever, and other stress-related incidents cause toxins to be released in the child’s system, which can sometimes be manifested as diaper rashes or other skin-related problems. Not changing the diaper enough. Ammonia builds up and actually burns the baby’s skin. Using cloth diapers allows the baby’s bottom to breath & let in healing air. Tight plastic pants & disposable not changed frequently can cause problems. TAKE OFF THE DIAPERS WHEN THERE IS A DIAPER RASH. Let the baby’s bottom be exposed to the air to dry it up.

                                                                Bottoms Up Salve
 A good recipe for diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, & irritated skin. If you don’t have the time for steep for 2 weeks or if there’s not much sun, let the herbs steep in the olive oil in a double boiler over very low heat for several hrs. Check frequently to be sure the oil is not over heating & burning the herbs.
                                                             1 part comfrey leaf
                                                             1 part comfrey root
                                                             1 part St. John’s wort flower
                                                             1 part calendula flower
                                                             Olive oil
                                                             Grated beeswax
Combine the herbs & store in an airtight container. Make a solar infusion by steeping 2 oz. of the herb mixture in 1 pint of olive oil for 2 weeks. This will creat about 2 cups of herbal oil. At the end o 2 weeks, place mixture in a double boiler & warm for 1 hr. over VERY low heat. Strain. To each cup of warm herbal oil, add ¼ cup of grated beeswax. You might need ot warm the oil a little longer to melt the beeswax. When the beeswax is melter, check for desired consistency; place 1TBLSP. of the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If the salve is too hard, add a little more oil. If it’s too soft, add a little more beeswax. Pour into a glass far and seal tightly when cooled. The salve does not need ot be refrigerated and will last for month (or years) if stores in a cool area.  

                                                                      Baby Oil  
This is an excellent all-purpose oil & it is wonderful to rub on baby after baths. It also makes a great massage oil for babies
                                                             1 pint apricot or almond oil
                                                              ½ oz. chemical free roses
                                                              1 oz. chamomile
                                                              ½ oz. comfrey leaf
 Mix herbs & oils together & let sit in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for 2 weeks in a warm, sunny spot. For a stronger oil, pour into the top of a double boiler. Slowly warm the mixture over very low heat for 1 hr. Strain & bottle. You may lightly scent with a few drops of pure essential oil such as lavender, rose, or chamomile. Use at room temperature only. Store in a cool place.  

                                                             Cradle Cap Oil
                                                             1 part dried nettle leaf
                                                             1 part chamomile flowers
                                                             1 part mullein leaf
                                                             Olive oil
                                                             Lavender essential oil
In a double boiler, combine herbs. Cover with olive oil. Cook over very low heat for about 1 hr. Strain and bottle. Add 1 drop of lavender essential oil to each ounce of herbal oil. Store in a cool area or the refrigerator. Oil should always be at room temperature before application. You can remove the “cap” & help regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands by gently massaging a mixture of the herbal oil in the scalp 2-3 times daily. Leave the oil mixture on overnight. The next morning the crust can be easily removed by gently massaging. Be sure no to pick at the scab or be too rough. Shampoo with a mild baby shampoo only when necessary.  
                                                             Tea for Cradle Cap  
                If cradle cap continues to be persistent, give the infant this warm herbal tea.
                                                          1 part red clover flower
                                                          1 part burdock root
                                                          1 part mullein leaf
Mix the herbs in airtight container until ready to use. Add 1 cup boiling water to 1 tsp. of herb mixture & steep for 30 min. Strain. Give the infant 2 tsp. of the tea 3-4 times daily for several weeks. Teething Often when a child has difficult teething, various symptoms will arise. Intermittent fever, diaper & other rashes, extreme crankiness, and diarrhea are not uncommon.  

                                                                 Catnip Tea
  This is an old standby for both child & parent during the teething times. Catnip is soothing to the nervous system & helps to relieve acute pain. The tea itself is not tasty, so you may wish to formulate with other gentle nerviness teas such as chamomile, rose, passionflower, or lemon balm

NOTE: This works WONDERS!!! We use it nearly every night to simply help both Audrey and I wind down. Nothing compares to it when Audrey is teething! She likes the taste of the tea, so we don’t mix it with any other teas.

                                                             High-Calcium Tea
 This blend is very helpful for all ages to give to the child throughout the teething period. It is effective if it is given several weeks or even months before teething begins. It supplies necessary calcium in a form that the body can easily digest & assimilate. Use it to supplement a natural diet rich in calcium.
                                                              1 part nettle
                                                              2 parts oats
                                                              1 part raspberry leaf
                                                              2 parts lemongrass
                                                              2 parts lemon balm
                                                              3 parts rose hips
                                                              ½ part cinnamon
                                                    Pinch of stevia to sweeten (optional)
  Combine herbs and store in an airtight container. Make a tea following directions for an infusion. Use the dosage chart to determine the amount used.

                                                                  Herbal Pops
Frozen catnip or chamomile pops are excellent for teething children to suck on. The cold helps numb the gums & relieves the pain.  

                                                            Seed Tea for Colic
                                                                1 part fennel
                                                                1 part dill
                                                                3 parts anise
                                                                3 parts chamomile
                                                                ¼ part catnip
                                                        A pinch of stevia to sweeten
 Mix the ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Infuse 1 TBLSP of mixture in 1 cup of boiling water and let sit covered for 45 minutes. Cool and strain. Give the infant teaspoon dosages every few minutes until colic pain ceases. This tea may also be given effectively in small doses before feeding time. Hyland Pharmacy has a homeopathic colic tablet that is very good. It is available in most nature food stores. Also, “Gripe” water is good for colic You can place your baby in a warm chamomile or lavender bath. If bottle fed, the baby can enjoy his feeding from the comfort of this soothing bath. You may relax the child’s stomach muscles by placing a towel that was soaked in hot bath tea, such as chamomile or lavender. Make sure the towel is warm NOT hot.  

                                                          Baby’s Bath Herbs  
                                            These herbs are something & relaxing
                                                        1 part chemical free roses
                                                        2 parts chamomile
                                                        2 parts calendula
                                                        1 part lavender
                                                        2 parts comfrey leaf
 Mix all herbs. Place a small handful of the mixture in a cotton bag. Add bag to baby’s bath, allowing the herbs to steep in the water. Use the fragrant herbal bag as a washcloth.

                                                  Garlic & Mullein Flower Oil  
One of the best herbal remedies for ear infections. It is important to treat both ears; the ear canals are connected & the infection can move back & forth. The oil will not only help fight infection, but also relieve the pain. Be absolutely sure the oil is warm not hot.
                   2 TBLSP. Mullein flowers (fresh flowers are best, but dried flowers may be substituted)
                                                     2 TBLSP. Chopped garlic
                                                              Olive oil
Place the garlic & mullein flowers in a double boiler or small saucepan. Add just enough olive oil to cover the herbs. Over very low heat, warm for 20-30 min. strain through a fine wire mesh strained lined with cheesecloth. To use: warm the oil in a teaspoon held over a candle or stove top. Warm only to the temperature of mother’s milk (about room temperature) Suction oil into a dropper & put several drops into the ear. Administer the warm herbal oil every 30 min. or as often as needed. Any extra oil will drain out on its own within a few minutes.  

                                  Chicken Pox, Measles, & Other Skin Eruptions
  This formula assists the body in warding off infection & lessens the uncomfortable effects of the rash                                      
                                                   1 part Echinacea root & tops
                                                   1 part astragalus root
                                                   2 parts oats (milky green tops)
                                                   1 part burdock root
 Follow the directions for making herbal syrups. At the onset of infection, administer 1 tsp. every hour until symptoms clear. Use 4-6 times daily during the course of an infection  

                                              Teas for Chicken Pox & Measles
                                                         1 part calendula
                                                         1 part red clover
                                                         2 parts oats (milky tops)
                                                         2 parts lemon balm
                                                         1 part passionflower
 Mix herbs & store in an airtight container. Add 1 C boiling water to 1 tsp. mixture & steep for 30 min. Strain, sweeten with stevia, honey, or maple syrup. Let the child drink as much as desired.  

                           Valerian-Burdock Tincture for Itching & Skin Rash
                                                1 part burdock root tincture
                                                1 part Echinacea root tincture
                                                1 part valerian root tincture
  Mix together. Give 1/8 tsp. tincture every 2 hrs. For some children, valerian acts as a stimulant. If you notice your child becoming more irritated & active after using it, discontinue immediately.

                                                        Oatmeal Bath  
Nothing is as soothing to itchy and irritated skin than a warm oatmeal bath. For extra comfort, place the strained oatmeal in a cotton bag or sock & add it to the bathwater. A couple of drops of lavender oil, in addition to being a relaxing nervine, has antibacterial & disinfectant properties.

 Prepare a big pot of oatmeal, adding 3 times as much water as usual. Cook for 5 min. Strain. Add the liquid to the bathwater.

                                                    Disinfectant Powder
 Mix up this herbal powder & keep on hand as a disinfectant. It can be sprinkled directly on oozing pox sores, helping ot dry them as well as preventing infection from setting in. You may also try sprinkling slippery elm powder over the sores. It’s so soothing & helps to stop itching.
                                                 1 oz. green clay
                                                 1 TBLSP. Comfrey root powder
                                                 1 TBLSP. Calendula flower, powdered
                                                 ½ tsp. goldenseal or chaparral powder
  Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle on skin sores to stop itching & promote drying. Store remaining powder in a shaker container or glass bottle with a tight fitting lid.

                                     Rescue Remedy Flower Essence Spritzer  
               Try spraying this spritzer in a child’s room to relieve stress & anxiety
                                3 ½ oz. distilled water 3 drops lavender essential oil
                                                 4 drops Rescue Remedy
                                                 1 TBLSP brandy
 Combine all ingredients in a 4 oz. spritzer bottle with a mister top. Shake before using. Use as a room spray as needed. NOTE: this works wonders!!!

                                            Suggested Dosages for Children

                                         When Adult Dose is 1 cup (8oz)

                           AGE                                                     DOSAGE
                     Younger than 2 years                                 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
                     2 to 4 years                                                2 teaspoons
                     4 to 7 years                                                1 tablespoon
                     7 to 11 years                                              2 tablespoon

                          When Adults Dose is 1 teaspoon, or 60 grains/drops

                          AGE                                                      DOSAGE
                     Younger than 3 months                             2 grains/drops
                     3 to 6 months                                            3 grains/drops
                     6 to 9 months                                            4 grains/drops
                     9 to 12 months                                          5 grains/drops
                     18 to 24 months                                        6 grains/drops
                     12 to 24 months                                        7 grains/drops
                     2 to 3 years                                                8 grains/drops
                     3 to 4 years                                               10 grains/drops
                     4 to 6 years                                               15 grains/drops
                     6 to 9 years                                               24 grains/drops
                     9 to 12 years                                             30 grains/drops                                    

           Herbal Teas

           The making of herbal tea is a fine art, but it is also blessedly simple.  For a medicinal tea to be effective, it must be administered in small amounts several times daily.  For chronic problems, serve the tea three or four times daily.  For acute ailments such as cold, fevers, and headaches, have the child take several small sips every half hour until the symptoms subside.  Use the dosage chart as a guideline for amounts.

          To make a tea, use one to three tablespoons of herb(s) for each cup of water.  The herb-to-water ratio varies with the quality of herbs being used, whether the herb is fresh or dried (fresh herbs are used in greater amounts than dried), and how strong you wish the tea to be.  There are several methods for making herbal teas.

             Infusions are made from the more delicate parts of the plant including the leaves, flowers, and aromatic parts.  Place the herb in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and pour boiling water over it.  Steep for 30 to 45 minutes.  The length of time you steep and the amount of herb you use will determine the strength of the tea.

            Decoctions are made from the more tenacious parts of the plants such as the roots and bark.  It's a little harder to extract the active constituents from these parts, so a slow simmer (or an overnight infusion) if often required.  Place herbs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a slow simmer; cover and continue to simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Again, the length of time you simmer plus the amount of herb used will have a direct effect on the strength of the tea.

           Solar and lunar infusions utilize the light of the sun and moon to extract the healing properties of the herbs.  Thisis one of my favorite methods of making herb tea.  Sometimes after I've prepared herb tea on my kitchen stove, I'll place it in the moonlight or sunlight to pick up some of the rays.  I believe we are children of the sky as well as the Earth and that using these energies in our healing work adds a special touch.
           When making solar tea, place herbs and water in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Place directly in the hot sunlight for several hours.  For lunar tea, herbs can be placed in an open container (unless there are a lot of night flying bugs around!) and positioned directly in the path of the moonlight.  Lunar tea is subtle and magical; it is whispered that fairies love to drink it. 

Herb Candy
          To make herbal candy:
           1.  Grind raisins, dates, apricots, and walnuts in a food processor or grinder.  Alternatively, you can mix nut butter (such as peanut, almond, or cashew) with honey in equal portions, then proceed with the rest of the steps.  Note: If you're concerned about the use of honey in small children (due to report of botulism poisoning) then use maple syup, rice syrup, or maple cream.
          2.  Stir in shredded coconut (the unsweetened type found in natural foods stores) and carob powder
          3. Mix in the herb powders well. (Determine the dosage of herb by using the chart above. Divide the candy into once-daily dosages.
          4.  Roll mixture into balls.  Roll again in powdered carob or coconut.  Store in refrigerator.

          Because they are sweet, children often prefer their medicine in syrup form.  Syrups are delicious, concentrated extracts of the herbs cooked into a sweet medicine including honey and/or fruit juice.  Vegetable glycerin may be substituted for honey.  It is an excellent medium for the herbs and is very nutritious.
                 To make syrup:
                  1.  Use 2 ounces of herb mixture to 1 quart of cold water.  Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to 1 pint.  This will give you a very concentrated, thick tea.
                  2. Strain the herbs from the liquid.  Compost the herbs and pour the liquid back into the pot.
                  3.  To each pint of liquid, add 1 cup of honey (or other sweetener such as maple syrup, vegetable glycerin, or brown sugar).  Most recipes call for 2 cups of sweetener (a1:1 ratio of sweetener to  liquid), but I find it far too sweet.  In the days when refrigeration wasn't common, the added sugar helped to preserve the syrup.
                 4.  Warm the honey and liquid together just enough to mix well.  Most recipes call for cooking the honey and tea together for 20-30 minutes more, but this method cooks the living enzymes out of the honey.
                5.  Remove from the heat and bottle for use.  You may wish to add a fruit concentrate to flavor, a coupe drops of essential oil such as peppermint or spearmint, or a small amount of brandy to help preserve the syrup and aid as a relaxant in cough formulas.  Syrups will last for several weeks, even months, if refrigerated.

           Tinctures are concentrated extracts of herbs.  They are taken simply by diluting a few drops of the tincture in warm water or juice.  Most tinctures are made with alcohol as the primary solvent or extractant.  Though the mount of alcohol is very small, many people choose not to use alcohol-based tinctures for a variety of reasons.  Effective tinctures can be made using either vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar as the solvent.  Though they may not be as strong as alcohol based preparations, they are perfectly suited to children.
           Some of the alcohol in tinctures can be removed by placing the tincture in boiling water for five to ten minutes.  This method removes only about 50 percent of the alcohol, however.  Since alcoholic tinctures are quite concentrated, it is very important when giving them to children to follow the recommended dosage on the bottle or the guidelines on the dosage chart.  Remember, less is often best.
          If choosing alcohol as your solvent, select one that contains 80-100 proof alcohol such as vodka, gin, or brandy.  Half of the proof number is the percentrage ofalcohol in the spirits: 80 proof brandy contains 40 percent alcohol, 100 proof vodka contain 50 percent alcohol.
          There are several methods used to make tinctures. The traditional or Simpler's method is the one I perfer.  It is an

I give credit where credit it due:
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Remedies for Children’s Health. North Adams: Storey Publishing, 1999  
(I highly suggest you get this AMAZING book!!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

blogs with wonderful toddler activities

Alright dear readers. There are more pictures of the fun activities we have been up to below.  This time I figured I would also tell you the blogs that I have been loving as of late and getting ALL of these activities from.  You can find the activites below on the following blogs, just check my pinterest!!

Mom to 2 Posh Lil'Divas

I Heart Crafty Things

Reading Confetti

Chasing Cheerios (although Melissa's posts have slowed down she still has all of her amazing ideas if you just search! It was here that I first got the idea to do a letter a week with Audrey last year)

Please check out my pinterest boards. I have one just for fall/Halloween as well as one with just Montessori activities. I also have baby/toddler things as well.

On another note, here are my fav. food blogs, they change from time to time and I discover new ones nearly every other week!

Naturally Ella
Oh my Veggies   (if you check out Kristens What I ate you can find links to TONS of other amazing blogs!! That how I discovered Naturally Ella AND Smitten Kitchen)
Smitten Kitchen 

this is a monster blot. I let Audrey pick the paint and she even drew the mouth. I helped her out and we cut it together. She also picked where she wanted the eyes

 another fun and simple craft. Those circles are simply a toilet paper roll dipped in paint and put onto a pumpkin I cut.  Audrey helped cut out the mouth and the eyes.  I curled the pipe cleaner. 

I think this was Audrey's FAVORITE Halloween activity.  I traced my hand and cut out some triangle shapes.  I put some red lentils, brown lentils, and large lima beans in different bowls.  She put where she wanted them and I hot glued them. She LOVES this monster hand

this one was pretty messy but Audrey had fun and honestly that's really what matters.  This activity called for sand but in lie of some I used sugar and colored it purple, orange, green, and black. (Halloween colors!)  I let Audrey paint what she wanted. She wanted a spider web so here is it Audrey's spider web.  After she painted it we dipped it in a bucket of sugar and voila.

Every morning Audrey and I go for a walk and on the walk we pick up 2 acorns, a Camelia bud, and 2 pecans.  We used the bud and acorns to paint this leaf I cut out.  She wasn't crazy that her hands got dirty but had enough fun for us to make 3 different leaves!

In case you were curious about Halloween and what was going on.  I made this Rapunzel wig.  This costume is bought but I have pictures of the one I made for Audrey.

Here is the front of the wig.  You can tell my little Rapunzel was thrilled with it.   Too bad she wouldn't wear it more than 10 min. on Halloween (it rained and so we had a party with her friends inside) and that Peggy and Eli destroyed part of it leaving me to take 3hrs to fix it! Oh well, she does occasionally put it on so it's not all is lost and I am pretty damn proud of it!!

Audrey really had fun making this.  These are the backs of 2 paper plates that she painted, it's purple of course! I let you paint the glitter as well and put where she wanted the eyes and the beak while I glued with hot glue since it wasn't sticking!   

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All things Fall

When school started I was still not feeling 100% myself so I held off on starting "school" with Audrey.  Now that I am feeling better we are trucking right along.  Most days we do 2 activities.  On busy days, like Tuesday and sometimes Friday we usually can just get one in.  The last 2 weeks was A is for Apple.  This week is F is for Fall. The activities are really similar since apples are fall so I carried a few apple activities over into this week.  The way I plan the activities is I sit down Monday morning with Audrey and figure out which activities to do what day for the week so I have a lesson plan all ready.  We go get supplies as needed; this week silk leaves and salt are musts.   Along with the activities we talk about how the activity relates to the word of the week.  We talk about it, get books from the library, and even watch videos on YouTube. For example, we watched a video that showed the leaves turning colors since that doesn't really happen here in SW Louisiana.  Enjoy and take advantage of these fun fall activities with your little ones.

There are two separate activities. Audrey LOVES anything having to do with art. These are fun and simple. The top one is Coffee Filter Apples and the bottom is Tissue Paper Leaves 

helping to stir up the rice krispies.

this is a REALLY simple fall wreath I made.  Just type in burlap fall wreath with wire coat hanger and you will get TONS of hits.  This is just one version I made.'s the after of our front porch we made.  Check out the white monogrammed pumpkin! That was another really easy craft! Here is the tutorial. I pretty much followed it except I drew the letter B and then filled it in.

Here is the before picture of our patio.  We had a few plants there too.  It was just an awkward space!!

here are the ingredients to make gluten free and vegetarian rice krispies.  These marshmallows really do melt like regular ones and they taste AMAZING!

I REALLY liked this craft. Not that Audrey didn't but I loved the smells. I changed a few things. We don't have coffee in the house, I know right, so I used short brown rice and put cinnamon on it and shook it in a ziplock bag.  I decided to scent the oatmeal with vanilla.  This acorn smelled incredible for about a week or so throughout our entire house!

this was easy. We went around collecting a bag full of leaves around the neighborhood and then put them on contact paper and put them in the window.  SO....simple yet so...pretty.  Careful not to have too many brown leaves they tend to not want to stick so well.

I wish I could find this tutorial again for y'all. The important part are the leaves.  It's coffee filters painted with water colors. Have your little one use LOTS of water with the colors so it has that tie-dyeish leaf look.  I wish the colors would have come out better in these picture because they really are brilliant.  Once the coffee filters are dry, we used 3, stack them and cut them in leaf shapes.  I drew and cut out a tree and let Audrey put the leaves up herself.

here is the view of the tree from inside

this is what happened to the leftover rice and oatmeal from our acorn craft. It went into a sensory bin and Audrey played with it for about 30-40 minutes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

a BIG announcement

Alas,  here I am again after I have been MIA.  I have a better reason than normal this time, not to say that any reason is a good one, but this one is better.  I am VERY happy to announce that I am PREGNANT!!!  I am estimated to be due around March 21, 2014!  :-)   To say that Audrey is thrilled is a big understatement.  She kisses my belly and coos "baby" at least 3+ times every day.  We have talked about how baby will drink nuni (her word for breastmilk) and she always says they will share.  Audrey's nanny has a 7 week old little boy so she has been helping change diapers and sees first hand that he eats nearly the whole time he is at our house, which is around 4 1/2 hours 2 days a week.  She also gets to hold him which she LOVES!!!   So....let's go back to the whole I haven't been blogging because I am pregnant.  I say that since I have not had the easiest pregnancy in the least bit.  When I was pregnant with Audrey I felt great, had no problems, other than a few random food aversions that went away at 12 weeks.  This go round, I have been nauseous since at least 4 weeks and need to eat every 2 hours or I feel sick. 2 months of nearly all day nausea is AWFUL!  The worst was just simply not being able to be the mom I wanted/needed to be for Audrey.  A lot of days were just me on the sofa, which folds out into a bed and playing with her from there. tossing the ball while propped up on the pillows, stacking blocks, watching her ride her bike.  It was really tough to feel like I was not fully there for my little girl. Regarding food, Meat is DISGUSTING!!!!  I know this shouldn't be a problem since I am vegetarian right, but it is a problem because my body was and is craving/needing/wanting more protein.  So....I am going with what my body needs now and do have seafood occasionally.  Sushi is my favorite!!! Fish and shrimp aren't bad.  Of course, some nights it all sounds gross.  Cooking was almost a thing of the past because it happened so very rarely, as did grocery shopping. Carlo would do the shopping and food was take out.  I did a lot of salads, or Indian food, or sushi.  Even pasta is's a texture thing.  Even now with FINALLY getting back into cooking this week going past the meat section is like OMG awful and so is the seafood section. I got flounder the other night with every intention of cooking and and well.. I got so grossed out just by it being in the fridge that I couldn't bring myself to cook it.  Carlo had to..The cooking thing killed me because I love cooking and so does Audrey, but it was just not something I can bring myself to do often. I can't tell you how nice it has been to cook this week with Audrey!  We made a wonderful strawberry cake and dinner EVERY night!  Regarding drinks: Water is not awesome.  I mean if I put lemon juice and LOADS of ice it's good but if it's not freezing cold water, it is just not going to be drank by me.  Oh and I usually have to eat at like 10:30PM.  SERIOUSLY!!! 10:30PM or later most nights you can find me angrily eating 2 pieces of Udi's raisin bread or some form of carbs.  I would rather be sleeping than eating, but I know I have to eat.  Oh and the whole eating every 2 hours usually involves a lara protein bar, it has 12g of protein.  I am really sick of them despite all of the flavors.  I just started to drink RAW protein shakes Carlo drinks (they are all organic and have chia and all of this good stuff in them) and they are not only really good but I add a banana and feel full for quite a while!  This week was the first week I felt a sense of normalcy.  I am back to walking in the mornings with Audrey and 1 puppy.  Audrey hops in the Burley (we have the jogging stroller attachment) with a stuffed animal she picks out that morning.  Along the way she asks me to pick up flower buds and leaves that she sees and I trade out puppies each day so I get special one on one time with each of them.  I am only walking/jogging 2 miles but will get back to my 3 miles. I am planning on doing a 5k sometime in October.  I think it will keep me accountable for keeping up my exercising.  As far as crossfit moms, which I LOVE, I am backing off. I have been advised to NOT do squats from my midwife and for good reasons.  I will go into that in a later post.  Now it's time for me to totally brag about my AMAZING husband here.  He just did his 5th triathlon!!!!  As if that is not enough, he placed 41 out of 350!!!!!!! He is a beast! I can't believe this is the same person after the tough first part of the year we had

              I feel as thought I need to explain why I don't have photos of Audrey lately either.  Truth is we have been using our Polaroid!!  I have TONS of pictures of her being her silly sweet self from twirling in her Rapunzel dress, to putting on her Rapunzel wig I made her (that's another post) to hopping in the dryer while we were loading it with clothes together!  Hopefully I will have it in me sometime before the end of the year to scan these photos and post.  There is something so nostalgic about Polaroids for me.  My nana ALWAYS had her Polaroid ready and was constantly snapping shots of me and writing and labeling them.  I remember the sound so clearly of the camera taking the photo and anxiously waiting to see the picture.  It's really fun to see Audrey have that same excitement waiting to see the picture.

          With ALL of this said, I will be back and much sooner than like 2 months. There is SO....much going on.  Halloween is coming up, you all Know my crazy obsession with making the costumes from scratch!  Audrey will be "training" for her first triathlon (this was ALL her doing; she tells me everyday she is doing a triathlon and rides and runs, this is a 3-4 age group and will be next year.  I have to update you on my birth plan and my plan for work. Oh and the fact that I got a new car and that we are doing some MAJOR work in our kitchen!!  Thank you for sticking with me dear readers I will do my best to be better at posting because I love you all dearly and appreciate y'all!