Thursday, 30 October 2014

Turkey coloring cards and color activities for Toddlers

First things first: Happy Halloween everyone! We don't have it here in the Netherlands, but I have definitely enjoyed putting together our Halloween inspired shelves! I will be writing later in the month about what we have instead here in the Netherlands. Today, however, I am sharing a few simple Thanksgiving inspired color activities for toddlers and preschoolers. As always, the printables are available at the bottom of this post in English and Russian!

Thanksgiving inspired color activities for toddlers and preschoolers {Welcome to Mommyhood} #coloractivitiesfortoddlers, #montessori, #montessoriinspired

I've been having a lot of fun bringing out the Thanksgiving and fall inspired printables I had made up earlier in the month. I had initially created this set of cards thinking that they would make a fun way to solidify Mr. Toddler's knowledge of his colours. 

Thanksgiving activities: Free prepositions cards

As I promised on Tuesday, today is the first of many Thanksgiving activities and holiday themed freebies for the upcoming three weeks! Today, I'm sharing Turkey Themed preposition cards! 

Thanksgiving activities: Free prepositions printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #thanksgivingactivities

These fun cards were inspired by the Pumpkin printable pack I had put together recently. I had included opposite matching cards, and a few of them were opposite prepositions, such as on top of and underneath.  I ended up demonstrating those cards by placing a pumpkin on top of/underneath a box. It was a simple way to show a very important aspect of speech and grammar to a two year old, while keeping things fun! 

For these turkey and scarecrow cards, I focused specifically on prepositions. Older children can match all of the preposition cards that apply to each of the image cards. 

Thanksgiving activities: Free prepositions printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #thanksgivingactivities

For younger ones, like my 2 year old, I would demonstrate what each image is representing with an objects you may have at home. 

Thanksgiving activities: Free prepositions printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #thanksgivingactivities

The preposition cards for toddlers already have the preposition filled in and bolded. 

Free Printables Preposition cards

Thanksgiving activities: Free prepositions printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #thanksgivingactivities

More fall themed resources and printables

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Homemade pumpkin pie spice

One of the things I have come to love during my years living in the United States is pumpkin. All sorts of pumpkin and pumpkin things. Pumpkin pie spice became one of my absolute favourite fall staples that I always had in stock... back in the day. 

Now that we live in the Netherlands, pumpkin pie spice, like quinoa, seems to be an item that is rare if not impossible to find. I had to take matters into my own hands. I mean, how can I possibly survive autumn without pumpkin pie spice in my coffee? How will my pumpkin pie ever taste the same? It won't. 

So I came up with a simple homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe. It's just as delicious, adaptable to your own tastes, and unlike pretty much every spice mix available in groceries stores, this one doesn't contain loads of E-numbers and mystery ingredients. 

Homemade pumpkin pie spice by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo, #homemadepumpkinpiespice

Homemade pumpkin pie spice

WIAW: Paleo and tasty!

Happy Wednesday folks! Today, I'm giving you a look into what I ate on Monday! I was pretty excited to be able to share my kale and cauliflower mashed potatoes dinner today, but I've had to change things up a bit. I love meal planning because in cases where things go off track, and a crucial ingredient disappears, I still have plenty of healthy meal ideas in front of me. I never plan what we'll eat on which day, precisely for this reason. I like to have the freedom to choose what I'm in the mood for when.  

This week, I swapped out our dinner our mashed potatoes dinner because we ran out of sausage, and I didn't feel like substituting. Instead, I whipped up my napa cabbage and chicken recipe (coming soon!), which left me a nice portion of leftovers for lunch for the next day. Now that is always a win. 

Annyyhow, shall we get to the photos already? Yes, lets: 


I'm so boring. I know! Here's a recycled smoothie photo: 

Paleo Meals by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleomeals

I also had an apple and a few large handfuls of nuts. 


Baked fabulousness. I'm not going to share everything that's in these easy breakfast bowls (yes, I know I made them for lunch. Same difference). I will, however, give you a hint - the bottom layer is filled with sweet potatoes, followed by a layer of spinach! I'll be sharing this recipe soon, too! 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


I've been spending some time thinking about my plans for this blog during the upcoming few months. This is really one of my favourite times of year, and even though I tend to take on a bit more than I can chew, I love the craziness of it. I have to admit... I kind of love being busy. As long as I have a cup of coffee or two to keep me sane. 

This year has been a bit more hectic than good busy with the house and all, but I can't help but add a few new things to my plate. Those new things are blog related, of course! 

Here's the plan for November: I'm going to be sharing new Thanksgiving or Fall themed printables and activities three days a week until 20 November, when I will be sharing a round up of Thanksgiving themed toddler activities. Here is a sneak peak of what you can come to expect in the upcoming weeks: 

Thanksgiving activities and free printables for toddlers through pre-schoolers by Welcome to Mommyhood #Montessori, #freeprintables, #thanksgivingactivities

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Healthy herby omelette

Life has been a bit hectic to say the least lately. My hubby just finished off a majorly scary part of the whole house project. We were quite concerned about safety and thankfully everything went smoothly. I really want to give an update with a house tour, but it's in a worse state than it was in the beginning because we've had to take everything apart to replace... the not so important stuff like electrical wires, plumbing stuff, floors, the roof. You know, the totally optional things in a house. 

Sarcasm aside, I really relieved and excited and anxious all at the same time. We actually need to plan for all of the above so I've been keeping my recipes simple in order to clear out some extra time to really think about where windows should be, where electrical outlets should go (outside of the reach of little humans). I also can't seem to decide what colour the doors should be. Like the front door? I say everything should be teal. My husband disagrees though. What colour is your front door? Or how about the stuff around the windows? While these details are certainly less important than proper plumbing, it's also a pain to repaint/replace later so we need to decide it aaaalll now. Pinterest here I come!

What was the point of that random introduction into our lives? Well, with all of that craziness, I have been trying to focus on preparing healthy, and quick meals. Lately, omelettes likes this one have been an absolute favourite! Quick, delicious, and oh so healthy!

Healthy breakfast recipes: herb omelet by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo, #healthybreakfastrecipes

Almost Completely Paleo Meal Plan

Want to know a not so secret something? I kind of love greens. A lot. With a particular love of spinach and kale. Want to know something else? Caterpillars love greens, too. Out of all of the beautiful, delicious kale that was planted and almost ready to be devoured by me shared with the family, there is literally none left. They ate it all. No kale is left for smoothies, for breakfast hashes, for casseroles, for any of the delicious recipes that I was planning to make with our organic kale. Alas, the caterpillars beat us to it. 

They should share. How rude!!! (Anyone remember Full House?) 

After the kale tragedy that has struck our home, I am trying to rethink some of those recipes to be replaced with spinach. Or ya know, I could go to the grocery store, but that's so much less fun than removing leaves of kale from the backyard. Especially when there's a two year old helper involved. After some internet time, I seem to have come up with something yummy, and I even think I'll be able to avoid that grocery store run for another week! Woohoo! 

I also won't be making anything new this week. Our house is kind of consuming our lives and I want to clear up some time this week to a) do stuff for it and b) figure out how to reapply for my US passport because that's expiring soon. I kind of have a crippling fear of paperwork after a seriously traumatizing experience trying to get my birth certificate from Crimea. Ah, Eastern Europe, what you lack in bureaucratic efficiency and lack of corruption, you certainly make up for with delicious food. Speaking of food...  

Healthy Meal Plan 

Healthy Meal Plans by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #healthymealplans

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Forest animals printable pack

I've been working on a lot of printables lately. A lot, a lot. Mr. Toddler has been progressing so much and so quickly that I can hardly keep up with him! We're also embarking on a new journey for us - he's asking to learn his letters. We've been working on letter recognition somewhat sporadically, but now, he is so interested that I know that have to really focus on reading! I'm not too sure how we're going to tackle this, but I am excited for it ... and a little unprepared as I didn't expect him to show such an interest until quite a bit later!

This week, I am sharing Forest Animal activities! Mr. Toddler loved working on these, and I'll be sharing all of the printables I used and more in the bottom of this post! As always, the printables are available in English and Russian.

Forest animal toddler activities & Free Printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #toddleractivities #montessori

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fall spiced tea recipe

So, um... Dutch weather: 

This post may contain affiliate links

It's grey, windy, wet, and oh so bone chillingly cold. Shocking, I know! It's not like I ever tell you about that... Oh wait. I do. All the time.

Well, all of that gray means that whatever I'm concocting in the kitchen should heat us back up. That leads to plenty of tea drinking! I equate autumn with wrapping up in warm scarves (knit at home, of course!), flannel sheets, heavy blankets, and cuddling on the couch with my boys while sipping some sort of tea! One of my favourites lately has been this simple spiced tea: 

Spiced tea recipe by Welcome to Mommyhood

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

WIAW: Thwarted by the rain

Before we get to the goodies today, I want to mention something really special! Marnie over at Super Smart Mama nominated me for the Liebster award! I am so honoured to have a blogger that I find to be so inspirational nominate me. I definitely recommend her blog if you're on the lookout for healthy food inspiration, fitness tips, parenting, travel and anything in between! 

I've already written a Liebster related post, but I still want to respond to Marnie's post (and then we'll get to food). So here ya go, you can get to know me a little better: 

Marnie's Liebster Questions 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Halloween activities for toddlers & Free printables

Looking for some last minute Halloween activities for toddlers or pre-schoolers? Today, I'm sharing loads of Halloween inspired activities for tots, including not one, but two large and free printable packs for kids!

Halloween activities for toddlers & Free printables by Welcome to Mommyhood #halloweenactivitiesfortoddlers #halloweenactivities #montessori

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Easy, healthy recipes: Rosemary cabbage and carrots

It's no secret I love easy, healthy recipes! Anything quick, good for you and, of course, delicious is a probably going to be attempted at some point or another. Annnd if I can cook it in one pot, that dish will probably get bonus points! Something like this rosemary cabbage and carrots dish? 

Easy, healthy recipes: cabbage and carrots #paleo, #easyhealthyrecipes, #vegan

One pot of beautiful purples, oranges, and greens! It makes me feel like autumn, and it's such a delicious way to warm up from our windy, rainy season (the one that lasts all year in the Netherlands). It just makes the perfect vegan/vegetarian dish! But wait! There's more because:

... bam: it becomes an easy, peasy full on paleo meal! 

Easy, healthy recipes: cabbage and carrots #paleo, #easyhealthyrecipes

So maybe the paleo dish requires more than one pot, but it's kind of worth the extra pan to clean. A lot. Okay, okay, here are both recipes! 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Paleo meal plan

I seem to have gotten a little bit of my food groove back! Getting back to the market regularly has been amazing and so inspirational! I've been cooking a lot, creating a lot, and snapping some new photos. I'm even starting to enjoy taking photos of food again (something that I haven't been too thrilled about for months). Ya know, because eating it is way funner than looking at it! 

In spite of all of the fun I've been having in the kitchen lately, once I sat down to figure out what we'll be eating next week, my mind suddenly went blank. After a look through my idea notebook, I think I've created a plan that's fairly easy and yummy with a few recipes I've been meaning to test! Here's what's on the menu this week:

Healthy meal plans: weekly paleo meal plan by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo, #healthymealplans

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Pumpkin activities for toddlers

Happy Friday folks! I'm really excited to share with you a mini unit this week! I focus on pumpkin activities for toddlers and share a bunch of free printables at the end of this post! As always, they're all available in both English and Russian. 

Pumpkin activities for toddlers & Free pumpkin printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
This post may contain affiliate links

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Spicy broccoli and sausage

When it comes to cooking, especially with how busy life has been lately, I need to make sure that I am able to prepare our meals quickly. This particular (paleo friendly) sausage and broccoli recipe happened at the spur of the moment. My husband and some friends were working on our home and needed to be fed. I rushed to my in laws house (where there's a working kitchen with running water) and needed to create a quick, but filling meal for several men. So, naturally, this happened: 

Easy, healthy recipes: spicy broccoli and sausage #Paleo, #EasyHealthyRecipes

This spicy broccoli and sausage is very versatile and so easy to make! In this dish, I love the whole sausages and the hearty, warm, and 'big' feeling it gives by leaving the meat whole! 

If you want to cut out the cooking time, I recommend chopping up the sausage into smaller pieces prior to cooking. A little secret: I dislike handling raw meat and frequently prefer to fry it whole then chop if I need smaller pieces. 

If you're not of the paleo variety, I think it would pair really well with some bow tie pasta. If you are of the paleo variety - serve over some spaghetti squash and nom nom! Or do what we did and just dig in! 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

WIAW: Paleo day of eats

We're going to get straight to the food! Here's a look at some healthy, paleo meals throughout the course of a day last week. 


This sweet potato and brussel sprouts breakfast hash was so delicious! I baked it in the oven, then added some sprouts and sriracha. So very delicious... and quick!

Sweet potato and brussel sprouts hash by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleorecipes


Mini meatballs stuffed with carrots that I made for Mr. Toddler. Oops. I just couldn't help but snack on them as they came out of the pan! They kind of ruined my appetite, so I finished the leftover hash for lunch, as well. 

Carrot meatballs by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleorecipes


Lastly, I made a chicken and vegetable 'stewp', or some kind of combination between a stew and soup. A bit more of the liquid ended up cooking away, making it quite thick. I added some sprouts to my plate and had it with some sriracha.

Chicken and vegetable stewp by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleorecipes

It was dark by the time we ate so the photos of this meal really didn't turn out well enough for me to show you my portion. It was fairly large by this point though as it was pretty late and I was hunnngrry.  

So here's a bonus photo yesterday's newest creation: cabbage, carrot, and potato randomness! 

Big batch of vegetables by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleorecipes


Sweet potato wedges with cinnamon and a tiny bit of honey. Yumm!

As always, I'm linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for this week's What I Ate Wednesday!

For more healthy recipes, check out my new paleo recipes page! For even more inspiration, be sure to visit my Paleo friendly Pinterest board! 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Fall Activities for Toddlers

In this post, I'm sharing two very simple fall activities for toddlers with an emphasis on nature. I've been putting in quite the effort lately into presenting works that have a nature component. Whether it's exploring leaves, twigs, etc on a nature table, or exploring different types of foods and produce. We've been having a great time learning, and these particular works have a fall twist!

Fall Activities for Toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood #toddleractivities #fallactivities

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Healthy Breakfast: brussel sprouts and sweet potato hash

I wrote in my meal plan post yesterday about how non-paleo foods have started disagreeing with me. The other change in my eating habits has been my sudden and surprising love of breakfast. Savory, hearty, and delicious breakfast like this brussel sprout and sweet potato oven baked hash!

Healthy Breakfast: brussel sprouts and sweet potato hash #HealthyBreakfast #paleo

Since discovering my new found love of breakfast, I knew that I wanted to get my healthy munching on without spending too much time in the kitchen. So I instantly turned to the oven. I tossed everything in there, sipped my coffee, and chatted with the husband. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Paleo meal plan October Week 2

As you may or may not know, I've been up and down with my commitment to paleo. I started the journey several months ago, and have been struggling now that we are living with the in laws while working on our fixer upper. Eating healthy in general has been a challenge when there's so little time (and space) to prep! 

Before I started exploring paleo, I assumed that I didn't have any digestive problems. My reason for starting paleo was my desire to get healthy, cut out the crap from my diet, and feel better. It happened. I've also noticed that when I consume paleo meals, including breakfasts which I previously avoided at all costs, then I am left feeling satisfied, full, and light

Now that I've found myself straying in the weekends and especially on days when other household members cook, I have also noticed some other changes in my digestion. Some I never noticed before, some are new. 

The foods I eat that aren't paleo are bothering me. A lot. Yogurt will essentially mean that Mr. Bathroom and I will become best buddies that night. Processed foods leave me feeling so lethargic, fat, icky, and leave my skin broken out. Yuck. Dishes that contain items such as pastas just leave me feeling stuffed, but not in a good way. In that 'oh my word, I cannot move and ate too much type of way'. Oh, and remember that coffee addiction I had? The thought of it makes my stomach churn. My sleep deprived self is super annoyed by this. 

It seems that the longer I stick to paleo, the less tolerance my body has for non-paleo foods. Interesting. 

So those were my observances the past few weeks, leaving me yet again convinced that I heart paleo. I love being able to eat full meals and not feel guilty. I love feeling full and light. Maybe I just love food.

Annnyhow, here's what's going to be cookin' this week: 

Healthy meal plans: Paleo meal plan by Welcome to Mommyhood #healthymealplans #paleo

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Grains, pasta, beans and more! Free printables!

I realised recently that Mr. Toddler doesn't distinguish between different kinds of pastas, grains, etc. Everything is lumped together as 'pasteeeee'. So I decided to make some 3 part cards containing all sorts of dried foods to teach him the proper names. 

I even learned that there is a ridiculously large variety of types of pasta. I limited the cards to those which are most commonly sold in my area, mainly so I could take the photos myself. That's actually one of the things I'm most excited about these cards - most of the photos, I actually took myself! 

Let's get talking about the works, shall we? Here's our dried foods mini unit:

Psst! All of the printables you see in this post are available to download for free  in English and Russian at the end of this post! 

Montessori toddler activities by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori, #freeprintables

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My expat journey: 10 things that suprirsed me about life in the Netherlands

In spite of the best of intentions, I seem to rarely mention my life here in the Netherlands. For this post, I'm doing something a little different and I'm going to finally share a little about the Netherlands and my experiences here! 

This post shares 10 aspects of life here that left me raising an eyebrow. I focus on 'life here' rather than generally shocking things like the fact that you can curse on the radio. Or more shockingly, that people sometimes say 'ja, hoor' (meaning yes), which is pronounced 'ya, whore'. That one certainly made me ask for a translation the first time I heard it said... by my mother in law. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Paleo WIAW: a day in the oven

Last week was ridiculous. A bit too busy for my liking, but that's life, isn't it? Taking some advice from the comments, I definitely skipped out on a lot of plans from my meal plan. Sophie at Sophie in Clogs suggested roasting vegetables for convenient, easy, and healthy meals. That's a-okay with me, and I certainly did that last week, while neglecting my meal plan. Marnie from Super Smart Mama said that our house situation was a great excuse for take out, and I most certainly did that, too. It was such a relief to stop getting so worked up about not cooking as much.  So thank you ladies!

This week has been a bit less hectic for me so I've been back in the kitchen. Here are some of my eats from... honestly, I have no idea which day. It could be Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday? I'm not sure, but nonetheless, they were healthy and easy to make! 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Pumpkin Pie Muffins (Toddler approved!)

With fall in full swing, my entire family has been enjoying our fair share of pumpkin everything! I have to say pumpkin pie muffins are kind of awesome. While I love a good, ole delicious and extremely sweet dessert, I certainly don't want to make something loaded with (bad) sugars for my toddler. 

Pumpkin pie muffins by Welcome to Mommyhood #easyhealthyrecipes #PumpkinPieMuffins, #healthytoddlermeals

Recipes like these easy pumpkin pie muffins definitely give me the satisfaction of knowing that I prepared something delicious, and well, pretty healthy for my son. Plus, let's be real, there aren't many days where I feel like a 'super mom', but these healthy muffins definitely put a smile on my face. Or rather, seeing Mr. Toddler happily devour them, certainly did!

Healthy Toddler Meals

Pumpkin pie muffins

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Easy Brown Rice Pilaf Recipe

First off, let me say that even though pilaf is such an easy dish, I have struggled with preparing it successfully. This was the first dish I ever cooked for my husband (then boyfriend) and I managed to under-cook the rice, overcook the meat, and well... it wasn't good. The kind man still ate it (a real statement of his love for me, eh?), but I wish I had known then what I know now! 

My grandma had made pilaf for my family regularly and this particular recipe had been passed down in my family for quite some time. I made a few changes of course because I swapped the basmati rice for brown rice (or quinoa if I have it!). I've even tried it with cauliflower rice for a delicious paleo dish! 

The recipe I'm sharing today is for Brown Rice Pilaf, but I'll be back soon with a paleo alternative! 

Brown rice pilaf by Welcome to Mommyhood #easyhealthyrecipes #healthymeals

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Fall inspired (healthy) meal plan

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend! It's been gray and rainy here, which has me craving baked goods, roasted vegetables {pumpkin or brussel sprouts because both are exceptionally awesome} aaannnd tea. Lots of lovely teas. 

I've been super excited to get out and about now that the weather is cooling down. Mr. Toddler has been a champ, dealing with me dragging him on various shopping trips. I guess train rides for a two year are pretty big adventures! 

This week, we finally made it out to the city while the herbs and spices market was happening, and not just the fresh produce. It is unbelievable how a tiny pinch of that or a pinch of this can really bring a recipe to life and make something old and boring new and fresh! 

I also have restocked my tea stash, which has become somewhat of a ritual for me. It's a real sign that summer is officially over and that cold weather is ahead. I've swapped out the clothing in our closets, replacing bathing suits and swim trunks with warm scarves and thick sweaters. Extra blankets are making their way onto the bed, and new scarves are being knitted. 

It's official folks: Fall is here and I have to admit, I'm surprisingly still excited about it! Maybe it's because I know we're just one step closer to being in our house, or the extra close cuddles I'll be getting in the evenings as Hubby and I watch some netflix watches some netflix and I fall asleep while attempting to do so with him. Regardless, bring on the tea drinking and pumpkin pie, I'm ready! 

Here's my inspired by fall meal plan for the week: 

Healthy meal plans by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #PaleoMealPlan #healthymealplans

Thursday, 2 October 2014

3 easy color activities for toddlers

We've been spending quite some time on learning our colours in my home. Mr. Toddler hasn't been too interested in them, and definitely prefers works that focus on math or letter recognition. 

I have been trying to 'trick' him into learning his colours though with some fun activities that I put together with supplies we already have on hand! Here are three easy colour activities for toddlers that you can put together at home! Mr. Toddler had a lot of fun, and learned several new words with these simple works!

Color Activities for Toddlers

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Montessori Inspired: recipes toddlers can help with in the kitchen

Another month has flown by and it's already time for Brittany's Munchkin Meals link up! This month, I'm exploring something a little different by sharing the ways I've been trying to get Mr. Toddler (24 months) involved in the kitchen. 

I really struggle to get him involved in cooking dinner as I tend to cook during naptime. I love how relaxing it is to cook, snap some photos, and have some quiet 'me' time. However, I also know that Mr. Toddler loves to 'help' me in most household chores and particularly enjoys the opportunities I do present for him to help in the kitchen. 

Instead of stressing about getting a toddler to help with dinner, I have been trying to give him more tasks to do when it comes to simple meal prep, especially where his own food is concerned! Most of his helping comes in the form of: scooping, washing, cleaning, assembling, pouring and he loves it!

I do present a lot of activities that focus on these skills during out Tot School activities, but this post focuses specifically on real life application in a real life setting. The change of scenery has also helped to keep him engaged! This even lets me have some more time to drink a cup of coffee as Mr. Toddler will sit quietly and work on diligently de-stemming strawberries, peeling eggs, or assembling sandwiches. At the same time, I really believe that the extra involvement in preparing his meals, has increased his desire to try new foods or foods he previously disliked like basil or leafy greens!

Here's what Mr. Toddler has been helping me prepare lately: 

Healthy toddler meals