Saturday, 28 September 2013

Meal plan for the week

Here is what we plan on eating today - thursday of the following week.

1. Beets with steaks (tonight!), pan fried mushrooms, and pan fried onions
2. Pasta recipe that I saw on a Jamie Oliver show (pasta with broccoli and cauliflower)
3. Celeriac stampot (mashed potatoes with mashed celeriac and bacon)
4. A stir fry with bok choy
5. Curry
6. Chili with corn bread muffins

That's all for this week, 
Yuliya

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Easy brussel sprouts recipe

We ate left overs tonight, but I wanted to use up the last bits of brussel sprouts that I had bought at the market about two weeks ago. This was very simple. Here is what I did: 

1. Pan fry brussel sprouts with three cloves of garlic (minced). 
2. Add some stock, paprika powder, and pepper
3. Bring to a boil 
4. Let simmer until brussel sprouts are soft
5. Salt to taste if you need. I also added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice


And that's all - simple and fairly quick! 
Yumm!

Yuliya

What I ate Wednesday toddler edition

Here are my sons meals yesterday. 

For breakfast he had - 

1. some fruit

2. Banana, oatmeal, and pumpkin cookies

Dutch stampot recipe

This is one of my favourite Dutch recipes -stampot andijvie. It is very, very typically Dutch, and very easy to make. It's not the healthiest, but that's alright. I made some slow cooked meat on the side. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Our current freezer stash

Since I wrote about our groceries, I thought I would also mention our current freezer stash. Also, because I just added the broccoli and cauliflower I had purchased on Friday.

I won't add any photos right now because it's already 20.00 (8 pm) here, so it's getting dark and the lighting is terrible. Here is a list of our fruit/veg:


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Fall goals or bucket list

Here are some things I hope to get done during this season: 

•Celebrate and even host Thanksgiving. I'm really excited about this. Thanksgiving doesn't exist here.  I have no American or Canadian friends here,  but I think it's fun and the hubby and I agree that we want to teach the kiddo about different cultures. We aren't American by birth but I grew up there so we will celebrate the occasional holiday by having a nice dinner and teaching the kiddo about it. We will be doing the same with Russian and Dutch holidays. For  Thanksgiving we will invite some friends over.

•Make pumpkin pie and lots of pumpkin recipes

• Start sweet potatoes for planting next year

• Plant garlic

• Figure out where I can get apple cider and have some

• Play in leaves with the kiddo

• Watch Halloween shows (feel really nostalgic and miss Halloween because it doesn't really exist here) 

• Have a pumpkin spice late (I think Starbucks actually makes these here. I think.) 

• Make a pumpkin spice late at home (sigh, probably will replace point above)

• Knit - a blanket, hat, and mittens for the munchkin for winter 

• Take a walk through a forest

• Fall photo shoot with the munchkin (probably in the forest)

• Get fall candles and decorate the living room for fall

• Make caramel apples 

• PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS ! (ACK. I'm already getting worried about Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas' day) and New Year (biggest holiday in Russia). Both are like Christmas present wise. We're celebrating both. Oh my goodness! So much preparation! The big gifts for the kiddo are going to be home made - a busy station made of wood with a bunch of different locks and activities for the kiddo. And possibly a tool station. Seriously. So much work. 

• Finish up some just some projects around the house

• Make spiced, hot wine

• Drink lots of hot cocoa

• Make yummy soup

Wheww... that's some list. I hope that most things get accomplished. Maybe by posting on here, I will feel accountable, so I will get things done. 

What are your goals/bucket list ideas for this season? 

Thanks for visting, 
Yuliya

Healthy toddler meals: beet pancakes and sweet potato patties

Healthy toddler meals and healthy breakfast recipes: beet pancakes and sweet potato patties
Healthy toddler meals: beet pancakes and sweet potato patties
We had a crazy day today. I have been feeling really run down lately, especially with visa renewal stress. Immigration is scary stuff. 

With how busy life can get,  I want to share a few healthy toddler meals: beet pancakes and sweet potato nuggets. I love these recipes because they make such large batches and I'm able to freeze extra portions! I especially love the convenience of the beet pancakes - healthy breakfast recipes that can be frozen for later are life savers in my home. 


Beet pancakes: 

Welcome to Mommyhood: healthy breakfast recipes for beet pancakes

Meal Plan for the week

Normally, our meal plans are created to be from Friday to Thursday because I buy our fresh produce on Fridays. Because the hubby will not be eating dinner at home until Tuesday, this weeks meals plan is small. Myself, I have been and will be eating salads for dinner because 1. I don't feel like cooking and 2. I could lose a few pounds. 

So here is what we will be eating Tuesday-Thursday. 3 simple meals. I don't plan for a particular day, just the amount of days. 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Healthy, pumpkin cookies

I made cookies for my munchkin. I finally used up some of the pumpkin my mother in law had brought us a little while ago. They turned out amazing even though I was baking! My latest attempts at baking haven't gone so well, but this worked out. 

I got the inspiration from this recipe from Laura at Mommy Run Fast: 


I didn't have mila that the recipe called for, so I replaced that with normal chia seeds, and I forgot to add the raisins. The raisins are something I'm disappointed about. I also decided to not add carrot. 

Here is what I did:

Toddler activity

We bought a lock a while back but  haven't put it on yet. So I decided to try teaching the munchkin to put the key into the lock. I really thought he would be too young to get this but after a few tries, he got the key in. We've been practicing everyday for about a week.

I also learned that he finds the word pochti (almost in Russian) hilarious while we played today. He tried getting the key in the lock but missed so I said pochti and he started cracking up. Silly boy.



So this activity was definitely a success.

Thanks for visiting, 
Yuliya

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Planting ginger

I recently learned that you can replant ginger, and it will continue growing! How exciting. We love ginger, so I was very eager to give this a try. Here is what  I did. 


1. Soak ginger overnight and break/chop into smaller pieces That was the original piece


I broke it in about half 


Here is the empty pot 


2. Fill pot with some earth


3. Put in ginger, and fill with more earth. 

4. Water

 Simple as that! Ginger likes warmth though, so you should make sure to bring it inside during the winter, or at least before the first frost. During the summer, it can go outside. The root will continue to grow, and you can eat that. Otherwise, they grow beautiful flowers.


Thanks for visiting, 
Yuliya

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ideas for keeping the romance alive with kids

The hubby and I have a one year old. It's hard work taking care of the kiddo,  managing the home,  working, and then making time for each other let alone some romance. Sometimes we are so exhausted that we hardly speak but collapse in front of the television like sacks of potatoes. Here are some low key ideas for quality mommy and daddy time or just for busy couples. 

1. Kiss everyday
2. A sexy outfit. Simply putting on a nice dress or outfit for a late night dinner.  Sometimes we put the kiddo to bed and the hubby and I eat dinner alone.  A nice outfit makes me feel put together after a day of cleaning and chasing after the kiddo. Nothing too fancy - I just put on a dress that hubby likes and that's all.
3. Candles with dinner

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Laundry basket and other fun for toddler

I had a laundry basket downstairs ready for clean, folded laundry but the kiddo likes to play with it. I had a lot of ribbon left over from his birthday decorations.  So I put the two together and let him have a go at it.


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Toddler activities with objects you have at home!

My kiddo loves playing connect four so I thought of taking an empty water bottle and letting him drop beans in there.  He loved it. He also enjoyed dumping the beans out of the bottle. 

Healthy easy breakfast

We had a simple breakfast today.





















Saturday, 14 September 2013

Natural hair mask

Here is a home  made hair mask that I use in my hair to add shine and strength:

● one or two eggs depending on hair thickness and length
● one tablespoon of jojoba oil
● five drops of rosemary essential oil

I used this a lot when I used to dye my hair. My hair is slightly on the dry side and tends to get frizzy. This helped a lot. I would put it in my hair about half an hour before I would take a shower, and then simply follow your normal hair care routine. I did this about once a week. Twice a week should work, as well. 

There are a lot more natural,  home made options depending on hair type.


That's all for now, 
Yuliya

Mommy on the go outfit of the day/Наряд дня

Here is an easy, (nursing) mom on the go outfit. I have a pretty hard time putting together stylish, comfortable outfits that I can nurse in. I bought a few new tops yesterday, and put together something very easy today. We went to Monkey Town - a children's play place, with ball pits, slides, giant legos, and basically a ton of activities for kids ranging from 1 - 8, I would say. We also went grocery shopping afterwards. I needed something I could crawl around in, be comfortable, and not look like a frazzled mom. I came up with this: 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What I ate Wednesday (toddler edition)

Here is what my son has eaten today for breakfast and lunch. His snacks have been breast milk, and with each meal he gets water to drink.

Breakfast:




Red berries, golden kiwi, and sweet potato pancakes. He ate the pancakes and berries, but didn't like the kiwi. 

Lunch: 




Peas, steamed carrots and broccoli, and a few slices of goats cheese. He ate all of the cheese and got three more servings of the vegetables plus a two vines of red berries. He was starving. He nursed about fifteen minutes after. I can't believe how much he eats sometimes!

That's all for now! 
Yuliya

Monday, 9 September 2013

Cars party decorations and snacks

Phew! My son's party is done and we can finally breathe. The past few months of party planning for various things we had going on have been exhausting and I am very glad that we don't need to host another major party until my husband's birthday next year. I was really excited for my kiddo's first birthday, and started planning organising well in advance. I was so glad I did this because this weekend was pretty calm and pretty much everything was done. This was a relief because I was sick. It was really disappointing because we had big plans to do some kid friendly activities but had to cancel because I was scared of getting other kiddos sick. We plan to do this next weekend instead, but I still feel super guilty because I feel like I ruined my kid's birthday. I know, I know. He's only one, but still! I wish we could have given him the outing we had planned instead of sitting at home, but we will make it up to him. 

Anyway, here are our decorations: 


Hallway leading to the kitchen


Entry hallway


Party tape instead of safety tape


Closer look at our road


Tube racing in dinning room


Dinning room

The snacks we offered before we got out the dinner (macaroni loaded with veggies and chili, not pictured because I forgot). 





We also had cheese cut into triangles as 'road cones', and pretzels as 'dip sticks'.

Thanks for stopping by, 
Yuliya

Sunday, 8 September 2013

First birthday race car cake

This was my son's birthday cake and smash cake. 

The cake: 




The smash cake: 

He didn't really get into the cake at first but then the hubby cut it up for him and he ended up eating a piece. It was super yummy.  He would have eaten more but we only let him eat one small piece.

Thank you for visiting,
Yuliy

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Lovely breakfast

Here is the lovely breakfast my honey made us for my birthday today! It was very tasty! 

Foto: Birthday Breakfast from my honey on our lovely new plates!


He bought fresh buns from the bakery near our house, and pan fried some eggs. The sandwiches also had eggs, tomatoes, cheese, green onions, and one strip of bacon. He made a salad on the side with some butter lettuce, cucumber, green onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. We also had coffee, but drank it all before we had breakfast. 

The kiddo had a bun, egg, tomato, and some fruit, as well.

Thanks for visiting, 
Yuliya

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Party wreath and onsie

Here is the wreath I made for my son's race car party! It was very easy, and I am pleased with the result.



The wreath is covered with black, grey, white, and red thread. I bought the yellow tape at a craft store. I made the flags by printing and then taping them onto tooth picks. Very easy. 

Here is the onsie we ordered for my kiddo's birthday. Tomorrow is his actual birthday so we will be spending the day doing toddler things (petting zoo, and a 'monkey town' where he can climb on things and play with other little kiddos. He's going to wear this onsie tomorrow and also on his actual party. (The onsie will be washed sometime in between Saturday and Sunday.) Anyway, here is his special onsie: 

 

The back was supposed to say 'Birthday Boy', but I wrote down that it should say 'Happy Birthday', while telling the seamstress it should say 'Birthday Boy'. In the end it did turn out alright. 



Thanks for visiting! 
Yuliya

Car party printables

I've been very busy the past few weeks with preparations for my son's first birthday. We are having a race car themed party, and I chose red, yellow, and black as our theme colours, and bought various decorations in those colours. 

One of the things I made was a variety of labels that I printed out and framed to be on display next on our dinning room table, where I will be setting up a buffet. 













              

                                                    
           

                                         

Click here to download a few other labels 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cloth diaper glossery

Cloth diaper glossary


Prefolds

  • Need a separate cover
  • Need snappis or pins (or you can pair this with an all in two cover) 
  • Come in - cotton, gauze, hemp, flannel 
Benefits 

  • Dry fairly quickly 
  • Cheap 
  • Can be used with any sort of diaper (all in two, pocket, just a cover, etc) 


Drawbacks

  • Need a separate cover 
  • Require 'assembly' 

Costs

  • Depends on material/quantity. Could be anywhere from 2 USD to 8 USD for one, but this varies wildly 

Examples

  • Depends on the material you want. Material could also just be bought at a fabric store, or a name brand prefold could also be purchased


Fitteds


Benefits 
  • Elastic around legs/waist allows for snug fit
  • Fairly quick drying time as cover/inner are separate 
Drawbacks

  • Not water proof
  • Need a separate cover 
  • Requires 'assembly' 

Costs

  • 6 -27 USD (for fitted itself) 

Examples 
  • Happy Hempy, Heiny Huggers, Little Beetles,  Bamboozle, Eco Posh, Diaper Rite Little Comfort Bambee, Mother-ease, Kiwi Pie, Thirsties Duo, Kissaluvs
All in ones



  • Have a PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) or wool outer layer. The soaker is sewn into the diaper. This makes it the most like a disposable diaper because there is nothing to put together, and the whole diaper is put into the wash.


Benefits

  • Don't need to 'assemble' them 
  • Easy to use 
  • Most similar to disposable diapers 
  • Snaps or velcro instead of snappis/pins
  • Cute patterns

Drawbacks

  • Take longer to dry 
  • More expensive 

Costs 

  • Ranges from about 15-30 USD. You can also buy these used, which saves a lot of money

Examples

  • BumGenius Elementals, GroVia, Swaddlebees, Blueberry, Thirsties Duos, Smart Bottoms, Diaper Rite, Tots Bots, Lil Joeys


All in twos

  • Similar to All in Ones except that the abosrbant portion of the diaper is not attached to the diaper. 


Benefits

  • PUL or wool outer layer 
  • Can use disposable inserts and washable outer 
  • Can reuse the outer layer, and put in a clean insert 
  • Cute patterns
Drawbacks

  • More expensive 
  • Require 'assembly' 


Costs

  • Ranges about from 12-25 USD per diaper for more expensive brands. I use Alvas like this, and prices for these vary from about four to six dollars. 

Examples
  • GroVia, Flips (from BumGenius), gDiapers (these can also be used as hybrids), (I use Alvas as All in Twos sometimes), Charlie Banana (can also be used as hybrids), Best Bottoms
Pockets
Benefits

  • Faster drying time than All in ones
  • Can add soakers/take away soakers 
  • Cute patterns

Drawbacks

  • Tend to be more expensive 
  • Require some assembly 

Costs 

  • Ranges from 5 USD per diaper on the cheap end (Alvas, Sunbabys) to about 15-20 USD for more expensive kinds (like Rumparooz, Bumgenius)

Examples

  • Bumgenius, Fuzzi bunz, Alvas, Sunbaby, Kawaii, Baby Kicks, Applecheeks, Rumparooz, Charlie Banana 

Covers

  • Come in waterproof material, such as fleece, wool, PUL, etc. Wool is a good choice because it is antibacterial, self-cleansing, breathable, and odor-resistant. The PUL also does the job very well, and holds in the messes excellently. 


Costs

  • 6 -27 USD (for fitted itself) 

Examples 
  • Kiwi Pie, Thirsties Duo, Kissaluvs, Econobum, Bummis, Blueberry, Diaper rite, Grovia, Best Bottoms, Thirsties Duos, Flips from BumGenius, Thirsties Duos, Applecheeks
  • Wool Covers: Eco Posh, Kiwi Pie, Disana 
Types of inserts

  • Bamboo (I find these to be super absorbent)
  • Flannel (Also like this a lot) 
  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Micro-fiber (I find these to be less absorbent. Some kids also get diaper rash from having micro-fiber touching the skin.) 
  • Mixed 

Many cloth diapers also have potty training alternatives that you can buy separately. 


*This is not a list of every sort/example of cloth diapers. This is just to give an idea, and is something I would have found useful when I first started looking into cloth diapering* 


Thanks for stopping by, 

Yuliya

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Favourite beauty products


I haven't been taking care of myself much lately in regards to beauty. I've been too tired to wash my face in the evenings, too eager to get into bed to take off my make up, too exhausted to remember to put on lotion, too busy to put on nail polish and wait for it to dry, too forgetful to make myself get back into the habit of doing 'girly' things. It's left me feeling a bit frumpy. 

In the past few days, I have finally started getting back into the swing of things, so to say. I've finally started washing my face at night again, I've started taking off my make up, and well, that's about it really. I put on lotion every now and again, but I still fail to do it as regularly as I used to. Luckily, it's been warm and my skin hasn't gotten that dry from the lack of love. I have been giving my hair some attention, so it's a start. 

These are my easy, mom on the go, go-to beauty products: 

Reflections on last year, goals for the upcoming year

It's almost my birthday. In fact, this weekend, the kiddo and I will be celebrating our birthdays. I'll be turning 26. I will be closer to 30 than 20. It's weird. I've realised in the past year, I have really become an adult. There's now way around it. Adulthood seems to have snuck up on me gradually - I didn't realise it as it was happening, and now, it feels like a shock. Like, where did my youth go? 

I guess it doesn't matter much. I'm perfectly happy with where I am in life. I have a wonderful husband, a lovely baby, what else do I need? 

Easy dinner - pasta sauce from scratch

Yesterday, I felt like experimenting a bit in the kitchen. The hubby and I have been watching Jamie Oliver a bit lately, which has gotten me a bit more enthusiastic about going into the kitchen again. I came up with an easy broccoli and cauliflower bake. 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Guided toddler activity

I had a look around the house today when trying to come up with something I can do with the kiddo. I came up with this:


Muffin tin dinner


Even though I had meal planned on Thursday, even though I had thought a lot about what we would be eating, my hubby decided to ignore my meal plan and take over cooking duties on Sunday. I was more than happy to relinquish cooking responsibilities to him. (From now on, I am leaving one day a week open for his/our cooking experiments during the weekends.)


Here is his creation (it was so yummy!) 



Sunday, 1 September 2013

Cloth diapers review

I love cloth diapers.  We have a small stash that works for us. We have six alva covers, four bum genius flip covers, two gro via covers. We have about six flannel blankets that we use as inserts, about six bum genius inserts, six micro fiber alva inserts, and ten bamboo alva inserts. In addition,  we have about six other miscellaneous covers.

I love that the alvas can be used as all in twos or as pocket diapers. I like the micro fleece lining where the diaper touches the kiddo's skin. love that there are three snaps on each hip which allows for a snug fit and traps the poo very well. There is also a flap at the back that folds over the gap for the inset  to go inside of 
the diaper.

They dry very quickly.

If we use two bamboo inserts inside of an alva or a flannel insert inside an alva, the kiddo can make it through the night without a leak.