Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Bake-A-Thon

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...Image via Wikipedia

This year I am doing most of the desserts for my family for Thanksgiving. Now that I am a SAHM I really have no excuse to not help my mom out more for ou Thanksgiving feast.
This year I am making Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie and a side spinach dish. As you can see we love pumpkin, and I personally love to eat with the seasons and what is more seasonal for autumn then pumpkin.
Liv loves our baking days. She loves to mix things. Just last week at a La Leche toddler group I go to she went over to a child's kitchen set, picked up a bowl and a spoon and started to "mix." I couldn't believe it, guess I need to get her a kitchen set sooner then later.
As a child my mom loved to bake and cook, but did not have the patients to teach me along with her cooking. I remember the smells and taste of her dishes, but I also remember getting shoed out of the kitchen when I even went in for something to drink.
Because of this I was never taught to cook or bake, but I have made a huge effort to teach myself. I can not remember who said "anyone who can read can cook" but this is a huge part of my learning since I love to check out cooking books from the library.

I still love the classic cookbook by better homes and gardens. This book is one of the few I own and I often use it as a resource to make up my own dishes from their's with simple modifications or to just read and cook right from the pages.
I also think working in restaurants has helped greatly. I always asked the cooks how they made things, and was very lucky to work with great cooks who loved to show me and tell me how they cooked.
This is a skill that it not often passed down anymore. Too many people have no idea how to cook and get most of their meals from a take-out menu.
Our weekly baking days is a great tradition for Liv and me. And its wonderful to start Liv to understand how to cook and where her food comes from.
Tommorow my kitchen will be covered with flour and sugar and so will my clothes (I need to get myself and apron) but it will also be filled with wonderful scents, laughter and great memories and spending time with my daughter.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Candle Give Away

This great blog is doing a candle warmer give away. They are so cute and great for the holidays I have to share about this. Enter for your chance to win.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This the Season..of shopping

Shelves at Target store in Silverthorne, Color...Image via Wikipedia

Today I went to Target to get some much need baby supplies and that place was screaming Christmas.
Every year it seems earlier and ealier this stuff comes out so you have a longer season to buy.
But really isn't Christmas everyday for most American children?
An American child an average receives 70 toys a year. That is almost 6 a month, and you know that is not all just from Christmas and their birthday.
This Christmas Liv is only getting about 5 toys from us. So her Christmas she will get receiving less toys then the average child gets most other months. Well realistically lots of those toys for other children are from Christmas and birthdays, but they are not getting 35 toys from each of those holidays.
As a child I only got toys on my birthday, Christmas and an Easter basket with some toys and candy. That is it. When I got my Nintendo for Christmas I played Duck Hunt and Mario Brothers till my birthday, we I got some more games for it.
We have become a nation of consumers we are addicted to it.
Children will learn to appriciate gifts and toys if they do not get one everytime they leave the house or everytime they get an A.
In addition to the problems I see in child-rearing when children receive so many toys the Green "tree hugger" gets disgusted by the amount of waste wwith all of these toys.
Most of the toys children play with are disposable, plastic, and poorly made. They are not made to last. They often end up sitting in landfills once a child grows bored with them. And really what does this teach our children?
That they can not be happy with out lots of stuff or the newest items out there.
It start younger and younger. And as a parent it is your duty to prevent this from a young age.
Liv has a very limited number of toys. Part of the reason is with me not working we can not afford lots, but I do make a conscience effort to limit the junk in our home.
I try to limit the amount of plastic toys. I think just about every plastic toy Liv has was received as a gift.
I also limit her tv, right now it is to zero! I do not need her seeing commercials that are just designed to make her want and find happiness in material goods.
I hope I can teach her to appriciate the gifts she receives, material and other gifts that we see daily, and those other gifts are what I focus on.
The smell of fresh made blueberry bars, mixing them together and tasting our work. Being close and spending our days together. Sitting on the couch reading or just watching the wind blow through the trees. These are truly enjoyable things, that don't hurt my wallet, my mother earth and leave me with a healthing longing, not an addiction like longing for more then I need or can afford.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Bird Learns about Breastfeeding

Sesame StreetImage via Wikipedia

This video is from the 70s and is such a great piece. I love it but at the same time it upsets me to think about how much we've gone backward too.
Could you imagine the uproar if this was on Sesame Street now? People couldn't handle Katy Perry I couldn't image what people would do if they aired and updated version of this.

I would love though if they did air something like this. I always feel awkward when a friends child asks "what are you doing?" Or what's under that blanket, can I see?
I really long for a time when can I nurse my child and not get stares or looks from parents, children or anyone.
I love the messages Sesame Street used to teach children, and still often do. Its a wonderful thing to nurse your child, and just as wonderful to normalize it and educated other on it.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unconditional Parenting-Book Review

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn is a great read for any parent. He has looked a many studies involving parent and discipline and basically tells the reader that most parenting books out there are wrong. He shows with real studies what how to show your child you unconditionally love him.
Most parents do love their child, but he shows with psychological studies how many parenting styles touted by so called experts can teach young children that your love comes with the condition of the being well behaved.
He calls time out "love-withdrawl." And when he breaks it down it makes sense that is how a young child will view it. When a young child acts out and you put them in a room or corner alone, he is not thinking about what he did wrong, he is either thinking that mommy is mad and doesnt care or thinking about how to avoid punishment next time.
He also discusses the inverse power of praise which was also recently discussed in another great book Nurture Shock.
There is really so much in this book that really makes you re-think parenting and ignore all the other parent books and go with your instinct, which is what I feel his book lets you do.
Kohn definitely has a rainbow colored glasses with this book, but his basic ideas are great and just for that its worth the read.
Hopefully in the future I will go into great detail about his book and how I apply it to my daily life with Liv.
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We have a Walker

Happily learning to walkImage by deltaMike via Flickr

Liv is almost 15 months old and finally in Sunday she took her first steps...and walked right across the whole living room.
She really has been so cautious with walking, she is naturally a cautious kid. On Sunday she was walking with Daddy and got so excited she just took a few steps, stopped, then realized "hey I'm walking" and kept going.
Now all she wants to do is practice walking. She "asks" to hold my hand then we walk around our house.
Now I am the parent of a toddler.
Let the fun begin.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

My New Fav Wood Polish

Olive Oil!
In many "green" books I have read it suggests to use olive oil to polish your wood instead of using Pledge, which I can't even begin to imagine how bad that stuff must be to breath in. They all warn you to test a small area first then if it goes good go wild.
It takes a little extra elbow grease, but my coffee table shines like never before. And it also protects the wood, adding moisture to it.
I can't believe that people stopped using this natural cleaner for pledge and other wood cleaners. This way just works so much better and I love the natural smells.
I just love being able to keep one less harmful chemical out of my house and to do my little part to be eco-friendly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is Civility Dead?

Rules of Civility, Rule 1Image by Jeanne-Erin via Flickr

I am not a morning person. No matter how much sleep I get I still drag in the morning. Since being a SAHM my morning routine is usually drinking a cup of green tea while watching the Today Show while Liv plays.
This week they have been doing a series on Civility and is it dead.
Having a young child I often feel I see the best and worst of people. I have had strangers rush ahead to open a door for me while holding Liv, I have also have strangers let a door slam in my face behind them while holding Liv and a bag of books at the library.
I have had people ofter to let me go in front of them in line at a store, or even to vote, while on my way out Liv smiles and waves at another person and they rudely look away. Like it is so hard to smile back to a 14 month old who is excited to see you and your dog?
I've have had people smile at me when Liv yells and screams in delight, I have also have had people stare in contempt.
I've had people smile and chat about how lovely my newborn is while I nurse her in public. I have also been stared down and talked bad about how I nurse my daughter in public.
Most of the time I feel Liv brings out the best in other people's manner, but when people are rude around her it just seems so much worse then.
It really makes my day when Liv waves and smiles at a person who just seems to be having a bad day, and when they see her happy smile, sparkling blues and her had waving away they for a second forget what was bothering them and smile at my little girl. Very often I can tell that the person is saying to themselves "that made my day." The pure innocence of a child's smile is usually enough to melt the coldest hearts.
But I still see people being rude and crude to others. With or with out a child it is just the right thing to do to hold the door for someone behind you, to say thank you and please and to just have common courtesy for others. I try my best to model these behaviors for Liv so she will grow up using manners.
Do unto others, love thy neighbor, we all live on this earth together.
We need to share it and make our time here together pleasant. A little civility goes a long way and can really help our days be easier and less stressful.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Homemade Bread

King Arthur Flour - Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour - 5 Lbs. (Pack of 3)King Arthur Flour - Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour - 5 Lbs. (Pack of 3)

Homemade breadImage via Wikipedia

I've have been a little scared to make bread from scratch. I love to bake, but with a toddler at home I have been too worried to devote as much time as is needed to make fresh bread.
Well last week I ran out of bread and didn't feel like going to the store. I looked on the back of my whole wheat flour bag and saw this recipe. This no knead reciped seemed easy to make and didn't require too much time so I gave it a whirl.
The bread came out pretty good for my first try. My DH even ate it with some honey spread on it. He hates wheat breads.
There was something just so satistying about making you own bread.
It was lovely for my whole house to smell like fresh baked bread.
I am now feeling a bit more adventurous and might try a knead bread soon.
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