Tuesday, 30 September 2014

What I Wish I Ate Wednesday

It's definitely been one of those weeks around here. You know the kind, right? Where it seems like you're behind before you start? Where the chores and responsibilities pile up, and as much time as you spend running around it seems like nothing on that pesky to-do list is getting crossed off? 

My meal plan (at least as far as dinners go) has been neglected because we've had to do some major work on the house and cooking hasn't even been a priority. We keep discovering new problems that need to be resolved, having to wait on other people, and of course are discovering that we want to do additional renovations because it's fun, right? Well, not per se 'fun' but certainly the result would be nice. 

We actually spent the weekend gathering up all of our handy male friends and relatives to help remove all of the roof tile-y bits (sorry, English is not my first language and I'm lost when it comes to proper construction terms). 

My organisational skills came in use though and I stacked each one into a lovely pile in the backyard as the garage is absolutely stuffed with wood and other construction materials. See, the roof was add on project number 13837 as we discovered it needed to be replaced due to rot somewhere. We budgeted for these extra projects, but it also means that our solar panels will have to wait, and certainly means that we'll have to wait even longer to move in. 

Okay, that was a lot of negativity. It's not bad. I know that we are very lucky to have a home on which we are even able to do renovations! I know that these are all necessary projects that are making it safe for us to move in and settle down. I keep reminding myself of all of these are happy things. Even if the solar panels will be coming later, at least I should have a nice laundry room ...and a roof. These are nice things! 

Because the house is a looming, time consuming project, this week, I've been taking it slow in the kitchen. I love cooking, but just haven't actually managed to find time to do it very much. That's why this post is going to be filled with goodies I wish I had eaten instead of the nutella and bread combination that tends to happen when I spend the day working at our house. At least this time, I also bought some bananas. 


Breakfast


Zucchini latkes! Or sweet potato latkes? Or something vegetable-y and in a latke shape. 

Healthy Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini latkes by Welcome to Mommyhood

Monday, 29 September 2014

Creepy Crawly Unit: Montessori inspired bug activities for toddlers

This week, I created several bug activities for toddlers (or pres-schoolers). I have to admit that bugs, spiders, and generally 'icky' things are not my favourite. I used to have an unbelievable fear of spiders that usually involved screaming and then running away into another room because it could eat me. Ahhem, while I no longer am scared that a tiny spider would cause me certain harm {although some can be dangerous!}, I still don't really like bugs. 

However, this unit was awesome! I was too uncomfortable putting the printables together and helping Mr. Toddler expand his vocabulary. Actually, I was very pleased with how these bug activities turned out and Mr. Toddler was just as pleased to work on them. I mean, the boy chose his works over playing with his cars during free play. Now that means they just have to be good! 

With Halloween approaching, I decided to expand these works beyond just bugs, but also included spiders, bats, and other animals that seem Halloween-y to me. Regardless, we had a lot of educational fun! 

Here's what we did: 

Bug activities for toddlers: creepy crawly Halloween unit by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessoriInspired, #montessori, #BugactivitiesfForToddlers


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hot Lightening: Easy cabbage bake

One of things that I love about traveling is getting to experience new types of food. Since moving to the Netherlands, I have been loving learning new recipes and ways to prepare food. While a lot of Dutch meals may be easy (just like I enjoy), many tend to be on the less healthy side of things. 

This particular Dutch inspired cabbage and potato bake is one of those lovely dishes that is both easy and healthy! I loved that I was able to throw all of these ingredients together and have a savory dish to warm up with on a cold and rainy day! 


Easy, healthy recipes: cabbage and potato bake #paleo, #easyhealthyrecipes, #toddlermeals
This post may contain affiliate links

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Healthy Meal Plan (Mostly Paleo and toddler friendly)

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! 

Another bonus of fall is: fall food. Um, hello brussel sprouts! I heart you. And pumpkin. I have a fresh batch of homemade pumpkin puree in the freezer and a homemade pumpkin pie spice on the counter top! I need to get over my dislike of cooking in the morning and start making fall themed pancakes. Speaking of what I plan to cook... let's get onto this week's meal plan!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Fall activities for toddlers (take II)

I've been loving making fall activities for toddlers lately! I've had fall on the brain since about mid August and had so much fun preparing all of these works for our Montessori shelves! Mr. Toddler had so much fun with these last week and I am excited to give you a look into our fall themed activities! 

Be sure to read to the end of this post to get your own free printables! Keep in mind that even though I present our works in Russian (the language I speak to my son), I make all of my printables available in English and Russian. This week, I also have a something special available in French and Dutch, as well (the other two languages I also speak fluently). If you have a request for any printables you see on my blog to be translated or made into French, Russian, Dutch or English, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Fall activities for toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori #toddleractivities #FallActivitiesForToddlers

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Quinoa pumpkin pie pudding

I love a good ole healthy dessert recipe! Since switching to paleo, I've actually noticed a decrease in the amount of sweets I crave, but every now and again, I like to create a little somethin' somethin' in the kitchen that while remaining healthy, certainly gives my sweet tooth a little satisfaction. Like this: 

Healthy dessert recipe: quinoa 'pumpkin pie' pudding #vegan #healthydessertrecipe #toddlermeals #healthy

This week, I was so excited to use my freshly made pumpkin puree and made this very easy quinoa and pumpkin pudding! It reminded me of pumpkin pie, but lacked all of that sugar! While this isn't a paleo recipe due to the quinoa, it's still healthy!  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: So much healthy

Food. Lots and lots of food. It happened. And it was glorious. Actually, it was a little hectic, but I was pretty excited to get cookin' after stopping by the market. Here's instagram proof of the awesomeness of the weekly market we visit:  




Psst! Now that I have a functioning cellphone again, be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates of our paleo meals and toddler fun!

There were so many delicious (and cheap!) goodies that I couldn't wait to get experimenting and spent all of naptime in the kitchen! Sadly, Mr. Toddler was feeling under the weather so he needed loads of cuddles. I definitely can't say that I minded the cuddles, but it made it far more difficult to get any work done. Now, it's Tuesday evening, and I'm ready to get some computer time while the Hubby works late and get to bed! Here's what Mr. Toddler and I ate today {Tuesday}:


Easy healthy meals that are toddler friendly { Welcome to Mommyhood } #paleo #healthymeals

Monday, 22 September 2014

Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes: Roasted squash and goats cheese salad

I love fall. Have I been telling you this enough recently? Oh, yes, in just about every single post this month! One of the reasons why I love it is because this happens: 


Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes: Roasted squash and goats cheese salad  #easyhealthyrecipes

PUMPKINS. And squash. And yumm-i-ness. Actually, this year was the first one where I managed to find so many different kinds of pumpkins here in the Netherlands. I am so excited to get baking, cooking, and pureeing with all of this gorgeous inspiration, but for now, here is a simple Roasted squash and goats cheese salad: 

Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes: Roasted squash and goats cheese salad  #easyhealthyrecipes

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Easy, Healthy Recipes: Butternut Squash Fries!

So, I think I have a butternut squash problem. As in, I am obsessed. A few weeks ago, I went to the market and bought two large squash. It finally inspired some nom-tastic cooking, which resulted in about three healthy, new butternut squash recipes being created in one day. If it hadn't been for the random power outage that we experienced during nap-time, I'm pretty sure I would have taken out the second squash and cooked three more different meals. 


Rosemary butternut squash fries: Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #vegan #easyhealthyrecipes

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Paleo Meal Plan

On Saturday, I decided to take Mr. Toddler an adventure - we traveled by train to the city to run errands and buy delicious goodies at the 'big' market! This has been something I have been putting off for a while - packing up Mr. Toddler, taking the train to the city, loading up the buggy with fresh fruits and veg, and then taking the train back. Somewhere in there I was also hoping to go to a few shops that aren't available in the villages. I knew that it would take some major Mama skills to keep the kiddo entertained, satisfied, and to prevent the most epic of meltdowns.

To my surprise, Mr. Toddler LOVED it. Ranging from his squeals of excitement because we were taking the train, to his excitement helping to pick out groceries, it actually went pretty well!


Easy healthy meals: Paleo Meal Plan by Welcome to Mommyhood

I even had enough time to pick out a pair of shoes for myself (woo hoo!). We only dealt with one fit, and mostly because I had managed to successfully neglect to feed my kid on time. 1 hungry toddler + 1 clothing store = recipe for disaster. We quickly left, ate, and all was good in the world again. 

The city we were visiting is absolutely beautiful. It's one of my favourites because it's not too crowded, but still has the luxuries of city life (shops, activities, things to do, etc). It's basically a nice place to visit with a young kiddo without me freaking out because of huge crowds (and the potential to lose my kid in one). 

I never can seem to catch a pretty Netherlands shot, but here's an idea of a typical view: bicycles, pretty buildings, gray sky. Let's ignore the poor camera phone quality, shall we? Yes. Let's. 

Easy healthy meals: Paleo Meal Plan by Welcome to Mommyhood

And finally, we stopped by my favourite market stand! The guys running it are always very kind, and give Mr. Toddler a few extra pieces of fruit! I love how much cheaper their produce is than the grocery stores, but also the quality just isn't comparable. Every time I come here, I know that we're going to be eating well and that magic will be happening in the kitchen. There's just too much inspiration: 


Easy healthy meals: Paleo Meal Plan by Welcome to Mommyhood

I bought a pumpkin, too! I cannot wait to get creating, but don't know what I'll be making yet! Plus, my hubby found a pumpkin stand in our village! I'm definitely going to be picking up several and thinking up some brand new goodies! 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nature table and homemade playdough - how we spent some quality time together

When I wrote my Scope and Sequence for this year, one of the biggest goals I had made for myself was to slow WAY down. The reason I started doing tot school with my son was to spend 1 on 1 time with him, but as we progressed with school I noticed I was spending less and less time focusing on my child. Today's post is about how I did just that and enjoyed some serious Mommy-son bonding time while we explored nature!


Homemade playdough and nature table invitation to play by Welcome to Mommyhood


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What I Ate Wednesday, but on Monday: Healthy meals

What do you get when you combine one stressed out mommy and a lot of fresh herbs and vegetables? Well, for me, it means, I cook. A lot. Or I clean, but cooking is more fun because you get to eat. By the end of my Monday afternoon (because cooking happens during naptime), I had cooked enough to stuff the fridge to capacity with a whole bunch of squash, green beans, and cabbage. And by the end of the day, those nom-tastic meals were deliciously packed away in my (and my family's) bellies and we had left the fridge with enough room for new creations. 


Here are the healthy meals we ate on Monday:



Monday, 15 September 2014

Easy Fine Motor Activities for preschoolers and toddlers

Fine motor activities are crucial to our homeschool routine. With all of the technology available around us today, I make it a point to provide activities for my toddler where he can work on his pincer grasp and on working those tiny muscles in his fingers and not just using his index finger on the tablet. Because let's be real - my toddler, just like many others out there, gets screen time. We limit it, restrict it, but it happens. The key in my home is to provide a balance! 

I have set up a lot of activities that specifically target fine motor development since we started homeschooling. These activities are prepping my son for writing (developing a proper pencil grasp), using scissors, and also to carryout various practical activities such as using a spoon properly, buttoning his shirts, zipping his coats, and even tying his shoe laces later on. The trays I present for my toddler prepare him (two years old) for doing these tasks later on. 

Here is a look at several fine motor activities for toddlers! The awesome thing with these activities is that you probably already have these items around your home! They require little set up and are very easy to replicate! Aaaand some even have a pinch of Halloween inspiration behind them. I just love holidays! 

Fine motor activities for preschoolers (and toddlers) by Welcome to Mommyhood #Montessori #FineMotorActivitiesforPreschoolers #Totschool

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Double chocolate chip cookies

Double chocolate chip cookies. Best. Cookie. Ever. They're soft, gooey, and ohhhh so decadent. 



They're my favourite, but because they are so loaded with sugar, chocolate, and all sorts of delicious yet unhealthy things, I only make them on special occasions - birthdays and the loads of winter holidays that we celebrate. Don't worry, I only eat about half of the batch myself, and am usually kind enough to share with other people. 

So get out your baking gear folks, and be prepared to make the best cookies ever. If you're willing, you can share, but I give you permission to eat the entire batch yourself. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Almost completely paleo friendly meal plan

It's been a while since I've been, really, really, really excited to get experimenting in the kitchen. My ideas haven't been flowing as easily, and I've been pretty wrapped up in the millions of other distractions, err, real life that has been happening around me. This week, I am feeling happy to be in the kitchen again! I don't have many links to recipes in this post because many are going to be experiments! There's going to be recipe testing and fun things will be brewing in my kitchen. 

I think it's because it's the middle of September. Do you know what that means? It's almost Christmas. Okay, not really, but the holiday season is going to be here soon and I can't wait for the tea sipping, cuddling, blankets, hearty food and the craziness of it all. I kind of love it. A lot. And I can't wait to cook comfort foods my for family. 

Paleo Meal plan by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #paleomealplan

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fall activities for toddlers

I love fall. A lot. That means that I am just a little bit obsessed with coming up with fall activities for toddlers. It's always been such an exciting time - I love seeing all of the beautiful colours as the leaves change, I love that it's cooling down, and I can feel the excitement of the holidays and busy season approaching. I can't wait to bundle up with a warm blanket, a cup of tea, and start knitting my the newest hat, blanket, or scarf creation. 

This fall unit has been something I've been planning for a while, but procrastinated on setting it up. I knew I wanted it to be done post birthdays so I could really enjoy it with my kiddo. There's always something about this time of year that makes me want to slow down even though I know that approaching holidays basically equal madness. But! This unit is definitely something that I am proud of, not just because of the effort I put into planning it and making printables, but because I accomplished a big goal of mine for this school year: 

I finally slowed down. 
This has been one of my favourite sets of works because I really focused on my son, tuned out that annoying voice in my head reminding me about piles of laundry, and just worked with my son, or creepily took photos of him working without him noticing. It was awesome! 

Fall activities for toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori #toddleractivities #FallActivitiesForToddlers


Here's a look at our week! 


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

WIAW and last Whole 30 update

Remember when I mentioned that huuuuge birthday bash that I was organising for my son. It's over now, but there was so much food. So much non-paleo food. And sadly, I only managed to photograph the sweets because it got hectic, crazy, and I had a house full of 12 rambunctious kiddos, and 20 ish adults. 

What does all of this have to do with What I Ate Wednesday? or Whole 30? Well, a lot. You see, I knew that our party would be a cheat day. I was definitely excited to be eating things like this: 



Double chocolate cookies

Monday, 8 September 2014

Simple sweet potato hash with zucchini

Sweet potatoes. They're pretty much awesome. 'Nuff said, right? I can just skip my description of how scrumptious this sweet potato hash was and get onto the recipe... 


Sweet potato hash by Welcome to Mommyhood #paleo #vegetarian #healthy

Okay, maybe not! Let's just chat for a little bit, shall we? Simply because I'm convinced sweet potatoes have awesome powers. Really. It's a thing. It's because I can usually (say 90 percent of the time) count on a dish with sweet potatoes being absolutely devoured by Mr. Toddler. It's those dishes that I try to sneak a little bit of extra into - something like zucchini or even, say spinach. Well, this time my spinach decided to freeze in the back of the fridge where I had sadly squeezed it in in order to make room for party food. Instead, I went for a zucchini from the garden, and topped it with some chives. Also from the garden. 

Don't get me wrong though, this isn't just a toddler dish, this is a whole family approved oh so tasty dish. I just love a good ole one pot dish that just makes my taste buds do a happy dance while I get to revel in the minimal clean up that I have left for myself. Oh yes. Eassssyyy dishes are the best. 

Plus it's versatile. Vegan? Skip the egg. Want some meat? Add some bacon. Or sausage. You can really change it up to suit your meat preferences, but it's absolutely delicious just as it is! Now you can have the recipe: 


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Whole 30 friendly meal plan

After the craziness that was birthday party planning, organising, cooking, and decorating, I am so looking forward to a calm week. I'm excited to cook simple and tasty meals, and maybe test a recipe. Easy is definitely going to be my goal as I wind down from party mode, get organised with homeschool, and maaaaaybe start thinking about the upcoming holidays. 

I realised that in October I will be throwing a baby shower, in November I'm hosting Thanksgiving (not celebrated here but I think it's fun), and then of course there is December: Saint Nicholas' Day, Christmas, Hannukah, Russian Christmas, and New Year. That's a lot of holidays.  In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas' day is pretty much the biggest and best-est holiday (6 December), and the stores are already starting to bring out themed goodies! 

Like I said, this week, I'm keeping things simple and relaxed before all of the above needs to get planned and happen. My goal for the week is to make loads of leftovers for lunches and breakfasts, while keeping dinners light, healthy, easy, nom-worthy. The usual, but with a bit more emphasis on the leftovers than I normally tend to. 

Here's my paleo meal plan for the week! 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Farm activities for toddlers

This week was really busy for us, and the birthday themed printables I was hoping to make didn't get done. Instead, I returned to a theme I knew my kiddo would love: farm activities. I printed off a stash of printables I had previously made (available for free to download at the end of this post), and we continued on with learning about farm animals. I also included a few tractor themed activities because Mr Toddler is absolutely obsessed with tractors (we also got him one for his birthday!). To go along with our theme, I planned a trip to visit my uncle-in-law's farm, but we haven't had a chance to do that yet. Here's what we did get to: 


Montessori Inspired Farm activities for toddlers by Welcome to Mommyhood #montessori #farmactivities

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Healthy toddler meals!

This week's What I Ate Wednesday post is going to be a bit different - I'm going to be sharing several healthy toddler meals, but paleo style! I'm combining my monthly Munchkin Meals post {linky party hosted by Brittany at A Healthy Slice of Life!} and my weekly What I Ate Wednesday post {linky party hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons!}. 

It's really important to my husband and I that our son gets well balanced meals. We try to make vegetables and proteins the main focus of his meals. Especially when I am following Whole 30/paleo, Mr Toddler ends up getting a lot of paleo friendly meals. We provide loads of healthy carbs, like sweet potatoes, and squashes. We do let him snack on crackers or homemade bread if he wants to (the snack cupboard is available to him). However, he'll usually go for a banana or some nuts if given the choice. Bananas always win. 

Here's a closer look at my toddler's healthy meals: 


Healthy toddler meals  


Healthy toddler meals by Welcome to Mommyhood

Monday, 1 September 2014

My son's birth story: how he was born 36 hours later

Mr Toddler is turning two in less than a week. Two. 2. T-w-o. It feels like I was just looking at the positive on the pregnancy test and now, I have a rambunctious little toddler running around. He's a curious little guy, who still enjoys a good ole cuddle (as long as we bribe him with something normally forbidden like a television show). 

In honour of his upcoming birthday, I'm going to be sharing something a little different this time - his birth story. I'm also going to try to give a bit of insight into the Dutch system and how things work around here. I posted a little while back about prenatal care in the Netherlands if you want to know more.