Friday, 28 February 2014

Easy, healthy recipes: flavorful chili

Healthy chili recipe
 Easy healthy recipes: flavorful chili    
We're busy. There are days when we are hardly home, and by the time we get there, the last thing I want to do is cook no matter how much I love it. One of my go to quick and easy recipes is chili. I love that I can throw everything together, I can forget about it, I can freeze it, I can change the beans, I can change the spices - it's one of the most versatile, easy, and healthy recipes that I know. No matter what I do to it, it always tastes great! 
Welcome to Mommyhood: healthy chili 

Easy, healthy recipe: flavorful chili 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

We're starting tot school! (Indoor toddler activities)

 Toddler Activities: Easter and Saint Patrick's Day   
Last week, I wrote how I have been trying to come out of a rut, and I've been putting in a lot more effort into doing educational and fun activities with my toddler. It's been going really well, and I've managed to fill a few pages of my idea notebook with indoor toddler activities. I've decided to get more organised and structural with our play. So we are going to be starting Tot School, and I'll be sharing our activities on Tuesdays. I'm not too sure if I'll be sharing a list of our plans and what we've accomplished, our progress, or just some highlights. We'll see how this new adventure will go!

We started working on a few activities this, but we're easing into it. For example:

Spring sensory bin

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WIAW - Black bean brownies and other experiments


Today marks the third day this week, second week in a row that I am getting up at five thirty to workout (or blog depending on how busy the day will be). Usually, I stumble downstairs, turn on my precious coffee, and use the computer for a few minutes while waiting for coffee to brew and enjoying the mommy time.

Then, still half asleep, I start my workout, usually done with my ipod playing, and usually ending up with my tripping up on the headphones which are far too long. That is a sign that I need more coffee.

Inspite of the tripping or half asleep squats that I manage to get out, I am really pleased to say that I have now made exercise a part of my routine. Even though I have been getting up at a ridiculously early hour, I find that I function so much better on much less sleep and much more fitness in my life. It's amazing but somehow laundry gets folded in half the amount of time, and I get so much more done around the house.

Aside from the eating out and stuffing our faces anniversary weekend that we just had, my family has also been managing to eat healthier foods. The largest change that I have implemented has been no more junk food-y snacks. As much as my husband loves chips, I am simply not purchasing them anymore. I've noticed that after I do eat a fast food meal or junk food, my energy levels drop dramatically. Same goes for the husband.

So far, we've been sticking with my meal plan, too and I managed to get two experiments ticked off of my kitchen to do list: black bean brownies and some veggie breakfast bars.

As usual, I am linking up for this week's What I Ate Wednesday with Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Peas and Crayons


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Easy healthy recipes: Egg and Vegetable Breakfast Bars

Brandon's Baseball Cards - Buy Cards, Baseball News, Card Prices
I whipped up some easy peasy breakfast bars for the Toddler and I enjoy the other day. The result was fantastic, and I want to share the recipe.

Welcome to Mommyhood Easy healthy recipes - Egg and vegetable bars

I'm almost ashamed to call this a recipe because they are just so easy! But who doesn't love an easy breakfast recipe that's also very healthy? I sure do!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday already! It means it's time for another Weekly Meal Plan Link Up, hosted by Laura at I'm an organizing junkie.


 Meal Plan Monday at I'm an organizing junkie


This week has to be healthy. As in super healthy to make up for this horrible weekend of eats that we had as part of our 'anniversary weekend so it's ok to eat stuff yourself with unhealthy foods' celebration. Yep. That happened. Three days of unhealthy eating and I only slightly feel bad about it. The slightly is because I wasn't able to get in my workouts. I like a good cheat meal every now and again, but it was too much in combination with the lack of exercise! This means that we are going to get back to our healthy meal plan this week and forget about takeaway: 


Weekly Meal Plan 24/02 


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Dating, marriage, and some other stories

Today is a different kind of post. I'm going to write about my marriage and my husband a little bit because something special happened this past Friday - hubs and I celebrated our fifth anniversary! Five years of ups and downs, five years of amazing surprises, difficult decisions, and five years growing together as individuals and as a couple.

There's so much I want to share, so much that I have been reflecting upon as my husband and I approached this date. I wrote last week about how I've been trying to come out of a rut. My relationship with the husband is one of the areas I have been trying to improve upon. We've both been short tempered, stressed, and just tired of winter. We want to move, desperately, and have been trying to negotiate a deal on a house that was foreclosed upon that we want to purchase. It's been going on for months. We're tired of it. Tired of the home we are currently renting. We're also busy, and we haven't been on a date since... we celebrated my husband's birthday in April 2013. All of this has been impacting our relationship, and as much as we love our son, we desperately needed to reconnect alone.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Healthy spinach and bean soup

I mentioned yesterday that I got the kiddo to eat spinach. In a sandwich. Amazing! Imagine my surprise when I looked down at the floor and I didn't have what normally appears to be a small lawn made of spinach. Nope, he ate it all, and it took a lot of self control for me not to do a victory dance.

And guess what! For dinner, he ate more spinach in the form of my spinach and bean soup! 



Healthy spinach and bean soup


It wasn't surprising to me that the little dude loved this soup - it's packed with a lot of wonderful vegetables and spices and herbs gave it lots o flavah! My guy loves his veggies, and Daddy and I are very proud. Making sure that the kiddo is eating a well balanced diet is very important to us, and has caused us to have a very good look at our eating habits. The kiddo eats what we eat. It's as simple as that. If I'm eating an apple, he's going to run up to me and ask for some. If I'm eating chips, he's going to run up to me and ask for some. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

What I ate Wednesday

It's that time again! I am participating in the What I Ate Wednesday link up, hosted by Peas and Crayons.

Peas and Crayons



We have been loving spinach. Rather, I should say, I have been loving spinach and have been forcing my family to eat it with pretty much every meal this week. The meals I am sharing today are no different - lots of veggies, lots o spinach. 

Here are the kiddo and my eats for the day (from Tuesday): 


Breakfast: 

Breakfast was pretty easy - I made healthy egg salad sandwiches, and I finally got the kiddo to eat spinach! Can I just repeat that: I got the kiddo to eat spinach. I am shocked. He didn't pick apart his sandwich, he simply ate it! There was no spinach on the floor. Zero. Major victory! 



Egg salad sandwich


Monday, 17 February 2014

List it Tuesday - Fun with letters

Psst. I have a secret to share. I'm a bit ashamed to admit this, but January wasn't a very good month around here. I realised that everything was in a rut - hubs and my relationship, we were unhappy living in our home (we want to move), but it doesn't look like we will be able to change that soon, and I realised that I was generally in a foul mood pretty much everyday. Housekeeping was neglected, and I became a pretty un-active mom. 

All of these ideas that I had had for entertaining my son, or teaching him anything were written down, and forgotten about as they laid on pieces of paper, gathering dust in a closet. I know kiddo could tell something was ... off. I wanted to spend more time just sitting on the couch, rather than bothering to dust, or fold some laundry. I felt pretty blah, and each time I didn't have the energy to complete yet another thing off of my to-do list, I felt even worse. It became a cycle. 

Honestly, I'm not even sure what it was. Maybe I was starting to feel pretty isolated. I'm a SAHM. I spend every. single. day with a toddler, having conversations about letters, numbers, colours, and use three word sentences the whole day. I spend the day in pajamas/sweats unless I need to go to the store. I haven't painted my nails in about a year. Who has time for that? I don't even know how long my hair is because it is constantly pinned up and away... I swear, the walls are closing in on me... 

I realised I needed to change things in my household. The laundry was really piling up, kiddo needed to be engaged more, and hubs could use a happier wife. 

I needed to make a change in my household, and it needed to start with me. I found some inspiration. Lora from Lora and Layton on youtube has a very cute series called the Happiness Project, where she is working on making changes in her home, and being happier. Another big thing for me was starting to exercise. It's been giving me a wonderful boost of energy that I desperately need. 

Now, let's get to the point: I have been working very hard to turn things around in my home, and feel unbelievably guilty in regards to my son. I know that I was still taking care of him, but I feel like it was a minimum. Now, I'm tryingrto really get active and offer him fun, educational, engaging activities. 


Early letter recognition activities


Learning letters - Учим буквы

I mentioned last week that we are working on learning letters and sounds around here. Kiddo has been saying 'g' quite a bit recently. I started using weights when working out (the Russian word for weight starts with the letter g - ganteli). Kiddo was really interested in them, and tried to repeat the word after me. Since then, he's been saying 'g, g, g' constantly. 

Okay, we can work with that! I'm not trying to get him to read yet. I mean, he's a year and a half old, it's too soon, but I do want to get him familiar with letters. 

So, I got him working on a few activities involving the letter 'g'. I made a few with both latin and cyrillic script, trying to incorporate activities that the kiddo already loves to do. Some of the munchkin's absolute favourite toys are his cars. He will make this 'brroooom' noise as he drives them all over his little road rug. 

So, I quickly made up a road in the shape of a letter g in a word document. 

English: 





Russian: 





This is pretty easy, and took about five minutes to make. It's not a very brilliant concept or anything, but it was a success around here. I was glad that I was able to combine an educational activity with a game/toy that the kiddo already loves. Although this paper road is fun for now, as we continue to learn our letters, I think I will buy a bunch of black felt and make a larger scale letter road. 

Thanks for reading, 
Yuliya

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Meal Plan

It's time for another meal plan of the week. This really should be meal plan Monday, but I wanted to get a bit of a head start on organisation this week - so this is going to be up early! Meal Plan Monday:  Sunday. Again, I'm linking up with Laura at I'm an organizing junkie!


 Meal Plan Monday at I'm an organizing junkie


I've tried to add a few new things to our menu, but we're still going to be eating a lot of soups, salads, and some boring protein + veg meals. I've been really working on fitness this past week, which I will definitely be carrying over. Plus, plus plus: Our dead oven has a replacement! Actually, our dead oven's replacement isn't here yet, but should be on Tuesday which means  - I am so baking. I. Can. Not. Wait. It's only been about two weeks since we've had to say goodbye, but I've been missing it so badly. New oven is certainly making an appearance this week. 

Meal plan



Breakfasts: 

1. Spinach and pea pancakes with eggs
2. Sweet potato and apple oatmeal (inspiration from: Giselle at My Healthy, Happy Home
3. Smoothies 
4. Squash, zucchini, and sweet potato egg bars


Lunch: 

1. Salmon and some salad
2. Bean salad 
3. Chickpea nuggets (still haven't gotten around to making these!) 
4. Left overs 


Dinner: 

1. Beet and leek soup with oven roasted ham and lentils
2. Spinach soup with a chicory salad and  leftover ham
3. Wraps (something in spinach) 
4. Stir fry with sweet potato noodles
5. Left overs/whatever we feel like having
6. Eating out - Hubs and I will be celebrating our five year anniversary! I can't believe it's already been five years! We're going out sans kiddo, which is also a first for us... I'm a bit nervous. 


Desserts: 

1. Black bean brownies (I've been these all over pinterest for a while, can't wait for the new oven to arrive! Not sure how I'll prepare them as I usually can't manage to follow a recipe)
2. Apple pie cookies 

That's all I have for this week. I'm not too sure if we'll stick to it, it depends on how many left overs we have. We're going to have a pretty busy week as I'm planning to start on our spring cleaning, date night, visiting friends, and a few other plans so we'll have to see how cooking goes. Maybe a freezer meal may have to make an appearance.  

Thanks for reading, 
Yuliya

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Boost Your Blog - Day 1

Hello everyone! I'm really excited to announce that I will be participating in a new series - Boost Your Blog in 100 Days! This series will consist of ten, ten day challenges, hosted by different bloggers each day, starting with Thaleia at Something 2 Offer. It will be cover topics ranging from SEO, increasing traffic, post topics, Pinterest, and more, starting today! Shall we do this together? 

I'm really glad to be able to participate in such a wonderful opportunity not only to spruce up Welcome to Mommyhood, but also to support and connect to others here in blogland. I've been working on overhauling things around here, including layout, topics, improving photos, and can't wait to read about other tips, challenges, advice, and opportunities! Let's get started! 



boost blog 400 host



Why Thaleia choose 100 Days? Well, to be honest I am a very, very busy mom of 4 children 11 years and under. I do not have extra time to spend laboring over by blog and Social Media. I want results and habits that can transform the limited time I have into something incredible. Spreading out 10 challenges over 10 days each just sounds better to me. Spending just 10-15 minutes a day versus an hour or two makes more sense to me. Easing into each new challenge should help create a habit a little easier.  This will also give you a  better understanding of why a particular challenge should be done daily or weekly and how it has helped you.
Quick clarification anyone with a blog CAN participate. I did seek out an initial 100 bloggers to help promote this series in exchange I am using their blogs to direct people to during the 10 days of Comments Challenge. Hope I have not confused anyone. You may do one or all 10 challenges at your own pace or join in daily.

Meet the Hostesses:


honey 400
Honey Rowland blogs at Honeys Life about homeschooling, family life and green living. With a passion for self sufficiency and natural, special needs parenting you’ll learn about everything from natural, local foods to essential oils and homeopathy to gardening and farm life. Honey has also turned the constant ‘talks too much’ report card comments into a home business. She runs social media while obtaining new sponsors and advertisers for herself and other bloggers. So whether you're curious about chickens or children, ask…’cause she’s dabbled and babbled in just about everything.


Michelle Simplify Live love

Michelle Marine blogs at Simplify, Live, Love where she shares down to earth tips for the thoughtful mama. Michelle. along with her husband, 4 kids and a bunch of animals, lives sustainably in barn on 5 acres in rural Eastern Iowa. Michelle is an avid gardener and from-scratch cook of real food; she cans produce, homeschools, and teaches community college classes in addition to blogging. Her husband is building their forever home to the German Passive House standards and they plan to live off grid yet still enjoy modern conveniences. Simplify, Live, Love chronicles their attempts to live sustainably and strives to remind people to live simply and frugally yet still enjoy life.


Martiel

Martiel Beatty from Amazing Success Academy specializes in helping artists build online businesses and blogs. She is a fiber artist, expert blogger, author of Blog Notes, and GIMP Wizard. She is also the founder of Sewmantra and started the Academy because she couldn’t find an affordable, knowledgeable and effective program that supported handmade, indie-artists. Find out how she can help you build your business today. Learn More Now!


lisa family

Lisa Nelson from The Squishable Baby focuses on creating positive learning experiences through everyday life.  I believe that learning about – and respecting diversity, different religions, other cultures, charity, and our environment – through play, through crafts, through lessons, through giving – will not only produce more empathetic children and adults – but will put a child on a path to a love of lifelong learning.


Thaleia 300 light

Thaleia Maher blogs at Something 2 Offer where she is generous in giving advice and helping others find free resources that meet their needs; be it for homeschool or life! She is a BIG researcher who wants to encourage families on their homeschool journey. Wife to high school sweetheart. Mother of four (including 2 little reds!), Sister, Daughter, Christ-Follower, Talkative, Creative. Hoping to figure this whole life, blogger, social media thing out! So be sure to keep tabs on her journey of life.


Days 1-10: Leave 100 Comments with Thaleia begins Feb 15.
Days 11-20: Grammar Mistakes Bloggers Make with Michelle
Days 21-30:  Using Twitter with Honey
Days 31-40: Topics for 100 Blog Posts with Martiel

I can't wait to work with these wonderful ladies on improving our blogs, learning how to better use our social media, and connecting to others! 



Want to participate? Add your blog to the linky

Thank you for stopping by! I look forward to getting to know you better!
Yuliya

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Weekly Warp up: Learning letters

Hello again! Thank you for stopping by for something a little new around here - I'm finally updating on some toddler activities! When I first set up this blog, I intended to post about activities/projects that I do with the kiddo, but have focused more on recipes and meals. Now, I'm excited to share an activity that we've been working on to learn letters, shapes, and colours!



Mr Monster wants to eat his letters! 

This guy is going to be my contribution to the Weekly wrap up hosted by Kris at Weird, Unsocialised Homeschoolers.

 Weekly wrap up

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Snert recept - A traditional Dutch recipe for split pea soup!

The Dutch call it Snert. Doesn't it sound completely unappetizing? I can't say that it looks too much better as the vegetables have been slowly cooked, softened, and the peas have become soft and mushy, forming almost one large blob of healthy ingredients. But this soup is absolutely delicious! We make it in huge portions and freeze the rest for eating another day. It's perfect for warming up from our windy, rainy weather. It's also very, very filling, which makes sense because it is such a hearty soup with so many wonderful ingredients. 



Dutch split pea soup - Snert 

Serves: 

A lot! This makes a huge portion, and I tend to freeze half. We can eat it for multiple days, which means we get about 8-10 portions out of it, including multiple servings/freezing. 


Easy healthy recipe: warm lentil salad with beets (Toddler approved!)

Easy healthy recipe: warm lentil salad  
A very easy, warm salad that is absolutely delicious! I made this for my toddler and I during lunch time, but I was unsure of how he would react to the lentils. I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased when the kiddo gobbled down two portions. I also love that this recipe is very easy to make, while simultaneously being very healthy.  

”Easy,


Warm lentil salad
”Easy,


Serves


Two adult portions and one child

What I Ate Wednesday - lentils, soup, and more!

What I Ate Wednesday (including toddler meals) 

I am participating in the What I Ate Wednesday link up, hosted by Peas and Crayons.

Peas and Crayons


Pre-breakfast: 



My addiction. 

Seriously. It's ridiculous, I need coffee, but I'm drinking decaf because Munchkin is still nursing. 

Breakfast: 



Scrambled eggs


Can you even tell that there are eggs in there? I think I should work on making the ratio a bit more even between veggies and eggs, but the kiddo and I do like it this way...


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Freezer meal ideas - List it Tuesday

I'm excited to participate in another link up, where I will be sharing some easy freezer meal ideas. I'm participating in the List it Tuesday Link Up hosted by Many Little Blessings and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

List it Tuesday at Many Little Blessings and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Most of these are breakfasts because that is when I am most pressed for time. Even though I am not a morning person, lately I've been getting up with my husband at 6.30 in the morning. However, he is not allowed to talk to me until I've made coffee. I'm addicted. It's horrible. I stopped drinking coffee while pregnant and have gradually switched over to drinking it again since my son has started nursing less, but I'm drinking decaf. So. Not. The. Same. 

Anyway, I just don't like cooking in the mornings, so usually, I just heat up something that I've prepared in a large batch and froze. 

Here are some toddler (18 months old) approved breakfasts that are healthy, easy to make, and freezable: 



 Oatmeal cookies recipe

Monday, 10 February 2014

Meal Plan Monday

The days are getting longer! The days are finally getting longer! I'm so excited. My favourite part One of my favourite parts of living in the Netherlands are the ridiculously long days during the summer. There are days when the sun will set around eleven thirty or so, and will rise again around four in the morning! I love it when the sun is rising/out when I am getting out of bed. Sadly, we aren't there yet. Instead, I get up at 6.30 in the morning with my husband, sit in the dark for a while, drinking my coffee and maybe writing a blog post until the kiddo wakes up. Today was special though because I heard birds chirping as I was getting up, and realised - we're getting closer to long days, earlier sunrises, more energy, nicer weather, and hopefully spending more time outside!

Okay, okay. Enough nonsensical chit chat about longer days, and better weather - let's get down to business. I'm excited to participate in a new link up (new for me at least) - Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura at I'm an organizing junkie!


 Meal Plan Monday at I'm an organizing junkie

 I always meal plan, usually stick to it, and really love the inspiration from link ups like this. Lately, I've been trying harder to feed my family really healthy meals as part of my decision to get fit again. I'm also trying to incorporate more paleo meals.


Here are our meals for the week: 


Sweet potato and carrot soup

Yum, yum, yum! I love this soup! I love soup in general, but mmm. And a bonus - it's toddler approved! The kiddo ate about half of my portion and some out of his own bowl. I guess my bowl is prettier. 





Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Munchkin meals

Another month has gone by already! It's still pretty cold around here, even though we've only had snow once and it didn't stick. The wind is always going wild in the Netherlands, and I swear, it rains horizontally and vertically around here. This weather always makes me want comfort foods and soup, lots of soup. So, that's what we've been eating. Here's a look at this month's munchkin's meals -- 

munchkin meals


Here are the kiddo's eats lately at seventeen months (click on the photos for recipes): 

Breakfasts: 

1. Eggs, eggs, eggs - hard boiled eggs, egg 'muffins', and 



Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Breakfast veggie patties

Can I just say - these weren't supposed to be patties. I wanted to make savory, breakfast bars that would be baked in the oven. I was planning on using more eggs, and no breadcrumbs. Or maybe it would have been something like an egg-y casserole. Mmm. But then my oven died. Broke. Dead. Now we need an oven. I seriously do not know how I can live without an oven. No lasagna, no cookies, no bread, no casseroles. Oh, all of those tasty things can no longer be prepared. This weekend, we are getting a replacement. 


Breakfast veggie patties:


Time to prepare: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 8-10 medium sized patties

Ingredien

Not your average latkes!

Another recipe that is toddler approved! 




Carrot and zucchini latkes


Healthy Toddler Meals: Oatmeal cookies and blueberry bars

 Healthy toddler meals: oatmeal cookies and blueberry bars for breakfast    
Since deciding to do this whole healthy/getting fit thing, I've been craving sweets. Sweets like cookies, tasty, gooey ones that practically melt in your mouth- mm. In order to satisfy my sweet tooth, while still remaining on track with my plans to drop lose a few pounds, I came up with these healthy cookies: 

Healthy berry-licious oatmeal bars

Healthy carrot cake oatmeal cookies

I love that these bars and the cookies are perfect for a busy morning breakfast for the kiddo. I can freeze the batter and then whip them up very quickly if I need to. I simply take the batter out the night before, leave it in the fridge, and then bake them in the oven for breakfast. I have also frozen the baked cookies. Either way, my toddler loves eating them for breakfast along with some fruit and yogurt! Even though I use these as healthy toddler meals on the go, they really are delicious and are certainly tasty to eat as a guilt free dessert! 

Here are the recipes: 


Berry-licious oatmeal bars recipe

Monday, 3 February 2014

Toddler clothing and shoes haul

Two pairs of Clark's shoes! These are so nice - very flexible sole, and munchkin looves them. When we brought the shoes home, he took them out of the bag and tried to putting them on. I really like them, as well. The smaller ones (on the right) are a size 22 (6 US, 5 UK). The larger ones a size 22.5 (size 7 US and 6 UK). I wanted the boots a little bigger so I could put some thick socks on his feet (it's pretty cold now), and he can wear them out and about. Plus, the spring lasts a very long time around here, so we are probably not going to get into sandals weather until about June or July. Hopefully, these shoes will get lots of wear.