Monthly Archives: February 2013

{Green} Banana Nut Milkshake Smoothie

Green Banana Nut Milkshake SmoothieMiss G and I have been loving this simple twist on the first ever smoothie we really made together.  Unlike many of our other green smoothies, this one is creamy and milk-based {and tastes more like a milkshake than a green smoothie}. 

Photo copyFor extra flavour and an extra burst of nutrients, my little smoothie lover and I top our drinks with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.  Of course she just slurps it all up. 

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{Green} Banana Nut Milkshake Smoothie

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3 large kale stalks, stems removed (or a couple of giant handfuls of spinach)
  • 1/4 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons of all-natural nut butter (we usually use peanut)
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • 1/2 a cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of the milk of your choice (we often use an unsweetened vanilla almond)

Blend on low until everything is combined, then blend on high for an additional 45 seconds.  Serves two.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Times Two {a whismical children’s book}

IMG 5819When I learned about Times Two, a beautifully illustrated, hardbound children’s book written and illustrated by two talented local mamas, I knew I had stumbled upon something special.

IMG 5813The story, which was originally a lullaby written by singer songwriter Sheree Plett, is about the beauty of limitless love.  As you flip the pages, you’re taken on a journey of two raccoons, determined to show their love for one another across oceans, into the sky, and up to the moon and the back.

RaccoonsAccompanying the soft, lyrical words are gorgeous, dream-like watercolour illustrations done by artist Shari-Anne Vis.  Gracen and I were lucky enough to meet Shari-Anne {and her little boy} a while back and not only is she absolutely lovely {and obviously remarkably talented}, but she’s a real mom, which I just adore.

IMG 5812Grae and I have enjoyed this book time and again over the course of the last few weeks.  She loves the whimsical little animals throughout and the book is the perfect size to take along with us in the car.

IMG 5822And as an added bonus, included is a link so you can enjoy Sheree’s song and the book {and a little drum session if you’re Grae} at once.

I can’t say enough good things about this charming little book.  Not only am I glad I found it for our own benefit, but I’m excited to have a new go-to newborn/baby shower gift to add to my list as I’m certain almost any new parent would fall in love with it immediately.

To purchase your own copy of Times Two, click here and to stay up to date with the Times Two crew, like their Facebook page  here.

♥ 

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Stompa.

Miss G’s been a big fan of this song for quite a while and now that they’ve started playing it on our local radio station? Well she’s pleased as punch.

♥ 

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Don’t Cry

While watching a video of the ‘5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’…

Gracen:  (very matter factly) Don’t cry, Mama.

Mama: Don’t cry?

Gracen:  No, Mama… Don’t cry.  It’s okay to fall.  You just get up and try again.

That’s my girl.

♥ 

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Balloons & Sharpies: A Creative Table

Balloons  SharpiesThis morning as Gracen was playing in her room (aka tearing everything off of every shelf and pulling everything out of every drawer) and I was doing a little bit of tidying, I decided to quickly load up her creative table with some new supplies.  We’ve had balloons floating all around the house since her half birthday balloon bath, so I grabbed a couple of soup bowls, placed a couple of balloons inside, and put out a little jar of my {coveted} colourful Sharpies.  

IMG 6083Without a word of exaggeration, upon coming into the room, Grae’s eyes lit up, she punched both fists into the air, and squealed “Yaaaay! New crafting stuff!”

IMG 6086She found it pretty hysterical that she was allowed to draw on balloons, and asked several times, “Mama, it’s okay to draw on dese balloons?”

IMG 6088Once she accepted that is was most certainly okay to draw on the balloons, she dove in.  Her favourite was ‘game’ she asked me to play with her…  I was to draw dots all over the balloon and she was going to colour over top of each.and.every. one.  

IMG 6091While the thought of balloons popping did cross my mind, day old {and there slightly squishy} balloons and well-used Sharpies = success.

So what do you do with balloons that have been drawn on?  Well, all of the things you do with a regular balloon I guess… Play keep it up, have a game of indoor volleyball, try kicking it really hard to see how far you can make it go – the usual.  Unless of course, you’ve drawn a face on it – then you can attach cardboard feet and have a little balloon person hang out around the house.  Like I think the majority of kids’ art should be, this is all about the process. ☺

See some of our other creative table ideas here.

♥ 

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Contact Paper, Tissue, Sequins, Confetti, & Glitter: A Creative Table

Contact Paper Tissue Sequins Confetti  Glitter Creative TableThis creative table set up had a good long run in our house…  It’s been worked on day in and out for over a week now, and I’m sure Gracen would still be adding to it if there was any sticky space left on the contact paper.  

IMG 5750When it began, it looked like this… A piece of clear contact paper, sticky side up, tacked down to one of our vintage apple crates (it could just as easily be taped down to a table top), and a few little jars of decorating goodies, as Miss G calls them.

IMG 5756Included were sequins, confetti, tissue squares, and a container of glitter.

IMG 5753Although I often set up Gracen’s creative tables while she’s sleeping, this time around she helped me set up, selecting the glitter (of course) and the sequins to be part of it.

IMG 5759When we’d finished gather our materials, she began creating without direction or instruction… Carefully adding each item, one at a time, and pressing them down onto the sticky paper.

IMG 5755The lovely thing about contact paper is that because everything sticks to it, projects (even when they include a full bottle of glitter) never get wildly messy.

IMG 5918Grae revisited it daily, adding a little bit each time, until today when we decided it was time to switch things up a little.

IMG 6005Now we could have easily called it quits at this point, because art like this is definitely about the process and not the finished product, but Grae had announced early on that she would be hanging her finished piece on her bedroom door.  In order to preserve it a little better, we took out our contact paper once again and cut a piece the same size as the original one.

IMG 6007I then peeled the backing off of just the top edge of the new sheet, carefully lined it up with the art piece, and pressed the two sheets, sticky sides together, down.  Afterwards, I pulled the remaining backing off in order to cover the entire piece.

IMG 6009Here’s what it looked like with everything sealed in. We could have left it as is, but Gracen chose to cut it into two hearts rather than keep it as one large rectangle.

IMG 6011Here’s the finished product.  She very proudly hung it on her door turned art gallery, but it would be super pretty hung in front of a window where light could shine through too.

To learn a little bit more about how we do creative tables around here, visit this creative table post and this one too.  Or, pop by Tinkerlab, where Rachelle, the creator of the Creative Table Project explains.

♥ 

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{Birthday} Balloon Bath

Balloon BathThis is ridiculously easy way to amp up the bath time fun, but it may just be Gracen’s favourite of all time.  I wish I had a video of the shrieking, jumping, splashing, and balloon batting just to illustrate what a hit it was.  Lucky for us, our tub has sliding glass doors, so the crazy was at least contained. ☺

IMG 5947I decided to try this tonight for Gracen’s half birthday, but it make a great regular birthday bath, and would be just as well received any day of the year I’m sure.

IMG 5951Just fill up the tub nice and full, add some bubbles and a bunch of balloons (I think 10 is a good number if you want it nice and full) and let the fun unfold.

♥ 

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Two and a Half.

Today my baby girl is officially two and a half.  

One of the little traditions we started when Gracen was born was the celebration of her half birthday.  Because well, why not really?  That extra ‘half’ is a big deal when your age is still in the single digits.  It’s nothing fancy… Just a fun day with “cupcakes” after dinner. This year was extra special as it fell on a weekend which meant Papa got to join in on the fun.

It started with Miss G waking up to a doorway full of balloons, ended with chocolate coconut banana muffins topped with freshly whipped cream and candles, and had muffin making, playing in the rain, an awesome presentation of The Cat in the Hat, and a sushi dinner sprinkled throughout the middle.

Balloon DoorwayIMG 5933IMG 5936IMG 5942IMG 5946Oh, and there was this…  A bath filled with bubbles, balloons, and a shrieky jumpy excited girl.

Happy half birthday, my love.

♥ 

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Healthy Chocolate Coconut Banana Muffins

Healthy Chocolate Coconut Banana MuffinsOne of the little traditions we do on Gracen’s half birthday (ohmahgerd, I have a two and a half year old) is make a fresh batch of muffins (aka ‘cupcakes’) to top with freshly whipped cream and candles later in the evening.  So today we used our usual no sugar added banana muffin recipe, tweaked it just a little bit, and came up with these delicious chocolate coconut creations.  They are super yummy and truly do feel like a cupcake instead of a healthy muffin… Especially if you add the dark chocolate chips I added to the adult half of the batch (with which I doubt they can be remain in the ‘healthy’ category, but hey – I try my best). ☺

IMG 5912Here’s the recipe…

Healthy Banana Chocolate Coconut Muffins

  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1/3 cups of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut shavings
  • dark chocolate chips (optional – we used 1/3 of a cup in half the batter)
 

Preheat oven to 350° . Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan by brushing it with grapeseed oil.

Mix the bananas, other wet ingredients, and cocoa until the mixture is mostly smooth and only slightly chunky.  In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients (save the coconut and chocolate chips) well. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Slowly stir in the coconut (and chocolate chips if adding them).  Fill greased muffin tin with the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Enjoy!

 

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The Last Crumb

IMG 5887It seems like one of our weekend traditions has become going out for afternoon tea as a family of three.  We have lots of little local cafes we love to support around the city, but one thing I’ve noticed is that many of them close between 4 and 5, which often doesn’t work out well with Gracen’s afternoon nap.  

So today, we headed down Main Street to try something new.  I’ve had my eye on The Last Crumb for a long time now, and as luck would have it, they were open until 6.  We made our way inside, ordered drinks and chose a couple of baked goods (they have tons of gluten-free options too), and made our way upstairs to a quiet table in the corner.  

IMG 5888While they don’t have a kids’ area like many of our favourites do, I did spy a big empty corner near the washrooms that would make a perfect kid-friendly space, so maybe it’ll happen one day?  I don’t know… I do realize not every establishment wants to cater to children and I completely understand, but I can still hope right? ☺

IMG 5894Our drinks were good, the baked goods were yummy, and the overall space was lovely – bright, open, and modern.  Gracen loved watching food being made from above and I enjoyed {politely} checking out the afternoon tea set-up a couple of ladies had next to us.  

It was a lovely way to end our Saturday and we will most definitely be back.  

The Last Crumb is located on 3080 Main Street and is open every day of the week except for Mondays.

♥ 

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