Turns out Easter’s less than two weeks away and we need to whip out some Spring crafts before the big day. Seems pretty feasible since we were literally in our pajamas until 1:00 today. Any later and I probably wouldn’t have changed at all. Except we wanted to play in the rain and I made the girls go to Costco. Since our goals are not that high and we’re relaxing to the max, I thought I’d get myself (somewhat) organized and jot down some realistic things we could accomplish in the next week. And then I can trick myself into thinking we’re getting so much done when I check things off the list like “dye some eggs” and “make Leah cry from sitting on a giant bunny’s lap.”
Let’s be totally real here and admit that kids “helping” you cook isn’t helping you at all. Doing twice as many dishes and prepping a meal at half the pace isn’t making anyone’s life any easier. But it brings them joy, so that’s why we let them scoop out the flour, leaving a trail of it until they (finally) dump it in the bowl. I do love cooking with Mya, but most days I just need to whip up something quick because when hunger strikes, it strikes hard. The food prep times when I welcome Mya’s help more, though, are when we picnic. Building a sandwich or stacking fruit and cheese kabobs is a lot easier than baking something from scratch. Suddenly, you’re a lot less frazzled when you don’t need 15 ingredients and precise measurements. With the help of PlanetBox, we’ve put together a how-to list to be picnic prepared.
Who would’ve thought that one of my favorite gifts received in the past couple years is a kitchen appliance– a pressure cooker. I guess that means I’m all grown up now. Or lame. Probably the latter, but I don’t even care because this appliance has made dinners easier and so tasty. At first, I was kind of intimidated to use the thing and it sat on our counter for a good month. Growing up, I remember my Mom’s pressure cooker spitting out hot water and steam for a good portion of the day and her wedging a wooden spoon in the top valve for the release, always hoping that it wouldn’t shoot off and punch a hole in the ceiling. Yeah, no thanks. Pass. But as it turns out, the design of these babies has come a long way since then and they’re super safe.
Mya loves all living things… including bugs. I don’t know how it happened with me as her mother, but she has no fear of any insect or arachnid. A couple months ago we were at a nature presentation at Fat Brain Toys and Mya was front and center the whole time. She jumped with excitement to hold the tarantula and grinned from ear to ear while the snake slithered up her arm. At the end of the class, Scott the naturist mentioned that the Leawood Nature Center at Ironwoods Park offered birthday packages and the thought of not having her party at our house seemed pretty magical. I got Mya’s overeager approval and called to book a date. Best. Decision. Ever. Also to make it easier, we just sent the invites via email. The “nature” theme gave me a good reason to incorporate one of my favorite illustrators– Charley Harper.
Every day around 3:00, Mya starts saying things like “Where’s Daddy?”, “When is Daddy coming home?”, “I miss Daddy,” “Mama, I’m so sick and tired of looking at your mug all day.” Ok, she’s never said that last one; but I can read between the lines!
Yes, the love that she has for her Dad is pretty beautiful; and I have to admit I haven’t been a super fun parent with things like, “Mya, can you be quieter while I try to get your sister to sleep?” Buuuut one of the things that I try to do everyday to up my fun factor is include her in the kitchen. Mya has always loved to help with household chores– her favorites being windexing the windows, sweeping, “organizing” her stuffed animals and doll house, putting dishes away, and cooking. Here are some of our favorite things that we play with (or want to play with) in our kitchen:
We have nothing profound here, people. And my cooking friends (and mother!) are going to roll their eyes on this post because it’s just egg salad. But sometimes we (or maybe just I!) forget about the simple, classic, inexpensive recipes… like a good ol’ fashioned egg sandwich. So that’s what we made with our hardboiled Easter eggs– and it was delicious!
Okay, I totally get that “lactation cookies” sound disgusting. But contrary to what it sounds like– they are NOT made with breast milk. And they are pretty darn delicious. I didn’t make this up.. it’s a thing. I promise. Pinterest it: Lactation cookies. Pinterest doesn’t lie. The reason they are called “lactation cookies” is because the three ingredients of oats, flaxseed, and yeast are supposed to boost your milk supply. I don’t know if there is science to back this up; but it gives me a good reason to eat a lot of cookies. So I’m a believer.
This week’s randoms consist our little library, a super easy DIY, jolly ol’ St. Nick, pasta salad, and orangutan mom tits. Yeah. You read that right. I’m sure you’re quickly learning that you’ll never know what you’ll find here. And that Derek is a saint for living with my complete ridiculousness. Enjoy!
A couple months ago, a family built a Little Free Library for our neighborhood. And I totally underestimated how much Mya would love this. Even in the colder weather, she wants to bundle up and trek down the hill with her baby stroller or bike to swap out books. Thank you, Sarah, Jeff, and Lilly for this awesome addition to our community!
I was going to compile a list of maternity items that’ve helped me through this pregnancy. And then I realized that they’re not maternity items at all because I was too cheap to buy much of anything that I’d only be able to use less than 9 months. Especially when I can live in sweatpants everyday. And I’ll probably have stretch marks because I didn’t get a bellyband; and I’ll probably have back problems because I didn’t get a pregnancy pillow. But I got a super soft infinity scarf, a mommy journal, and some other goodies instead. So I think the tradeoff was totally worth it. And I’m hoping these items will bring you comfort too… if not for you, for some other special gal pal. And most are great stocking stuffers, so just drop some hints to your man friend and make his job a little easier this year.
Truth: Mya’s napping and I should totally be making food for her birthday party tomorrow or cleaning the house… or sleeping. But I’d rather blog about the silly butterfly snacks we made for her preschool class. Priorities, am-i-right?! Yesterday was Mya’s 3rd Birthday(!) and she had school for a couple hours in the morning. We wanted to bring treats, and her teacher requested something besides sugary cupcakes or cookies to make her job easier. (Hey, I get it!) So we opted for some of Mya’s favorite foods: grapes and cheese (and popcorn on the side.) And since Mya loves herself some butterflies, here’s what went down…
Are you ready for this? It’s a dinner spread fit for a king. And probably nothing that I’m capable of making all at one time. I mean what’s “mascarpone cheese” or a “fennel frond”?! But what I’ve learned from Alexandra and Sarah (and my Mother!) is that “food is art.” The phyllo nests paired with a little peep is genius. Don’t you just smile when looking at it?! Hello, spring!… and lavender-infused honey drizzled over fresh raspberries… ohmygoodness it looks SO good! Thank you for sharing, Alexandra and Sarah!
Sure hope you’re not sick of Easter-related posts quite yet. Because I have one more for you this year! We drove up to Omaha to spend the holiday weekend with my Grandparents. My Gramps is a full-blooded Italian and my Gram is half Italian, half Czech. (She wouldn’t want me to forget mentioning the Czech part!) They always have more than enough for us to eat– my favorite being their homemade meatballs, Italian sausage, and spaghetti; but I wanted to cook something for them. I found a recipe for Italian Easter Bread and it’s just too good not to share!