Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Toddler Tips: Making Meal Time More Fun

Let me tell you a little background on my toddler (and from what I hear- most toddlers)- She is picky & set in her ways and meal time can be frustrating & often hectic. In an attempt to feed her something other than pretzels for lunch I decided to make meal time more fun. I do my absolute best to give Anna all the "required" nutrients, proteins, etc but I will be upfront- I do not stress out if a meal is missing one. I know that we will get it later in the day or even the next. She is not filling up on empty calories, she is growing like a weed, she is healthy and happy. 
In our family we struggle with protein- she will not eat meat unless it comes in the form of Jane's Pub Style Chicken Strips and ONLY these ones. DO NOT, I repeat do not attempt to give her anything else. (insert deep sigh from both Cory & I). She will eat cheese but ONLY in a grilled cheese. I thank my lucky stars that she LOVES peanut butter & lentils. Yes, a child that won't eat chicken nuggets or spaghetti loves lentils. Toddlers are a fickle bunch. 

The best part about starting this for Anna was that meal time became more about eating and less about arguing. By making some of  her meals fun and kid friendly (I don't do this for every meal) she complained less and was willing to clean her plate without being asked 20 times. In my book this is a parenting win!

Tips that work for us:

- Buy yourself shaped cookie cutters- stars, hearts, etc. You can find all sorts of themed ones during the holidays. These single cutters usually range in price from $1.00 to $5.00 for the "good quality" ones. You can often find sets/packs of cutters at art/craft stores in the clay/play dough department. Alphabet sets are an awesome addition to any collection. 

- Buy cupcake toppers to spear their food with (as long as you know they won't jab themselves or someone else). Party stores have so many popular themes. Princess, Mickey & Minnie, Dora, Diego, etc. You can also find themed ones during the holidays pretty much any where but I buy msot of mine at Superstore. 

- Cupcake toppers are perfect for the days when you just don't have it in you to "be fun", top the food with a topper and you're the bomb in their eyes. This doesn't have to be complicated or a lot of work.

- I add chocolate chips and M&M's for eyes and flower centres. Chocolate is fun & always a big hit!

- Get creative and when in doubt- look up ideas on Pinterest.

- Cut food differently, cut circles instead of spears. I did this with carrots and she eats so many more now. 

- Buy fun, themed, plastic plates. Kids love them and they section the food for those kids (and adults like me) that don't like to have their food touch. You can find these at pretty much every department style store, dollar stores and Anna's favourite- the Disney store.

- Pre wash & cut up veggies for a quick go to snack for both them & you

- Anything shredded looks like hair and for whatever reason seems to be funny.

- Let them play with their food. Anna loves to stack things like cucumbers and carrots to build towers and my rule is- as long as she doesn't waste it buy spilling it on the floor she can build towers. It makes it more appealing. Using her imagination is so important to me, I often wonder what she's thinking as I watch her stack, steady and talk under her breath to her towers.

- Make your own meal fun. You'll be surprised how much more fun it is to have a peanut butter sandwich in the shape of a heart or a snack plate turned into a smiley face. As an added bonus your toddler will think you're "so awesome"... or at least Anna will.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Layout Love Tuesday

I can barely handle how precious this girl is. Teeny tiny baby Morgan- you melt Auntie's heart.

Product: paper, rub on & stickers: Pebbles, doily: from Studio Calico online, enamel dots: My Mind's Eye, journaling card: Project Life: Baby Girl Edition, alphas: American Crafts

Monday, 14 April 2014

April: the half month intentions

April is half over (huh) and I realized that I hadn't set my goals/intentions for the month. Realized is a loose term here as I couldn't quite wrap my head around the fact that it was already April and now it is half over. I am left wondering if I sleep straight through days but since the dark circles under my eyes tell a different story I can only assume I am awake and walking around in a fog. Let me tell you what I have planned for the rest of the month...

April: the half month intentions

Get Outside. Sit in the sun.

Finish 2 work related projects.

Make teacher appreciation & graduation cards to sell.

Plan my garden.

Finish Start a couple goodies for my niece.


Get back on my healthy eating/meal planning/ meal prep train.
  (I took a hard fall off this train over the last 3 weeks.)


Friday, 11 April 2014

Around Here: Cory's Birthday

We celebrated Cory's birthday last Wednesday and no birthday is complete in our house without decorations. Anna and I went to the party store and I tried to "convince" her that The Avengers were the way to go but she had none of it and Mickey Mouse it was! I bought too much but man I love to decorate! I made a layered chocolate cake with chocolate icing and topped it with more chocolate- Cory may or may not have a chocolate addiction. We all may or may not have cavities now ;)

Cory had seen a similar cake on Pinterest and was drooling over it so I did my best to recreate it- it was a huge hit!

Happy Birthday Mr. Handsome!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Layout Love Tuesday

Product: pattern paper, embellishments & stickers: Fancy Pants, label stickers: October Afternoon, wood veneer: Studio Calico, enamel dots: My Mind's Eye

I had to have this package of embellishments because I had to have this monster. Seriously so cute!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Birthday Celebrations Card Class

New Card Class / Kits for Treasured Memories.
Saturday, April 12

I would love to see you in class!
 For all the details pop on over here or call the store at 780-414-1540 to sign up.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wanted: day off

No layout today, sorry if you came looking for inspiration but I am all out.

Today is a confession of sorts. I realized about 5 minutes ago (it's 2pm) when I made myself my first cup of coffee that I really (really, really) need to start putting myself first... or at the very least a close second. Today I don't want to play. I don't want to sing. I don't want to wash the dishes. I don't want to ask pretend questions. I do not want to tackle the laundry. I don't want to be bossed around like I'm someone's puppet. I most definitely do not want to scoop the cat litter even though I know it NEEDS it. I don't want to do my work. Today I don't even want to blow anyone's nose. All I want to do is sit here. In the quiet. Alone. I would like to close my eyes and maybe have a nap. Or pour a glass of wine (because it's closer to wine time than it is coffee time) and read one of the five magazines that sit on the table eagerly awaiting my drooling eyes.
And you know what else- today I will not feel one ounce of guilt because that is what I want to do. Wanting these things and not wanting the others does not make me a bad Mom or wife. I don't love my daughter or family any less. Maybe just maybe I might love them more if I had a little Nadine time.

I wonder if I'm onto something? I most definitely am not the first to discuss this concept of alone time.

Today I need a day off...
but that chocolate cake for my Mr. Handsome's birthday won't bake itself.

Maybe I can have a day off on Thursday? No wait, that won't work either...

Until then, I will drink this cup of coffee and hope I can finish it before it gets cold.

ps. to all of you reading this that get this, that have felt this- here's a big, fat, giant, boob crushing hug