Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Memory Footprint Keepsake

Create a one-of-a-kind present for Dad or Granddad to cherish this Father's Day! We took one of Daddy's old military dress shirts and up-cycled it into this lovely keepsake. My son stamped his footprint at the bottom of ours, but this would look great with all of a soldier's medals and ribbons on it too.

You will need:
one of Daddy's old shirts
a canvas or thick cardboard
a frame
acrylic paint

Take apart frame and remove glass. For our Memory Footprint Keepsake, we used an 8x10 frame and canvas. Place canvas on the desired portion of the shirt to be displayed and measure and cut 1 inch out from all canvas edges. Wrap shirt tightly around canvas and staple in place on back (like upholstering a chair.) If desired, you can then stamp a footprint or handprint on the front, or affix other mementos. Then place the covered canvas back into the frame and secure the back.

Sure to look great on Dad's desk or hanging proudly in his office!

Monday, April 27, 2015

4 Healthy & Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Slammin' Sunrise "Green" Smoothie
found on hellifignaw.blogspot.com

Who's in need of some new, healthy, and delicious smoothie recipes? These are four of our online favorites. Each is filling and nutritious. Drink up!

This yummy smoothie comes from Katie at This Chick Cooks. Made from bananas, oats, milk, and peanut butter. Mmmm! Peanut butter!
peaches and cream smoothie 
This creamy delight comes from Jess at Happily Hughes, a personal trainer mama that packs protein powder and almond milk into her smoothie for an added health benefit. I wonder if I'll look as fit and healthy as her if I drink enough of these! (Chuckles)
Lean, green nutrition from ~L at Hell If I Gnaw. Organic spinach is hidden amongst blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and almond milk. Great for sneaking greens into your kiddos!
Layered Breakfast Berry Smoothie ~ Delicious, healthy booster for breakfast ! #Smoothies #Drinks #Breakfast
This pretty smoothie comes from Linda at With A Blast. Greek yogurt, honey, bananas, berries, and spices. Check out how she combines and layers everything beautifully on her site. Would be great for brunch!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Messy Backyard Fun! Ballon Process Art

My son had a ball doing this balloon process art! It's a great backyard activity! We just stamped a piece of cardboard. But the possibilities are endless! Had it been warmer I would have used water balloons dipped in paint and let him throw them. Of course, it's all about the process, not the end result, so have fun with it!

Here's what you need:
acrylic paint
cardboard, paper, or canvas

You'll want to dress your little one in old clothes for this project! We had quite a few spills and splatters. A.K.A. We ruined some clothes-but it was fun! Well worth it! :)

Just dip balloon in paint.

Stamp on cardboard.

Remove and repeat as desired.

Originally I saw an indoor, less messy version of this posted by homesthetics.net on Pinterest. But I knew that a toddler would have a hard time keeping everything neatly printed and the area orderly. So that's why we moved our project outside. But if you have older kids you should definitely check out their link-https://www.pinterest.com/pin/530791506058755804/

Happy Painting!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Delicious! Almost Shrimp Scampi

Does it get any better than shrimp & butter? Our Almost Shrimp Scampi is buttery goodness at its best! It's toddler-approved and cooks in less than 30 minutes.


2 lb. raw, peel-on, deveined large shrimp
1/2 stick of butter
1 tbsp. of olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
garnish- fresh, chopped parsley (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Heat pan on stovetop at medium-high heat. Pour in olive oil and add the butter. Stir continuously until melted. Add garlic and shrimp. Cook for a few minutes on each side until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove from heat and garnish. Great over pasta or served with a salad and French bread.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How To Soothe A Toddler's Sunburn

Image result for toddler sunburn

Sunburns result from the skin being damaged by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most sunburns are first-degree burns and only affect the outer layer of skin, resulting in minor pain and redness. These are easily treated at home. However, sunburn that is red, painful, and swells up into blisters (a second-degree burn), means that deep skin layers and nerve endings have been damaged and may require a doctor's intervention to heal.

A baby or a toddler with a sunburn can be heartbreaking. They do not understand why they are in pain and all you can do as a parent is treat their symptoms while their skin heals. Following these few steps can help you soothe your child's discomfort.

Treat sunburn as you would any other burn:
  1. Cool down the skin with plain water compresses.
  2. Treat the pain with Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin).
  3. Topical Hydrocortisone cream may or may not help. Store the cream in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect going on the skin.
  4. Use Aloe Vera Gel as a soothing lotion.
  5. If skin blisters are present, DO NOT pop them, as this can lead to a skin infection.
Next time be sure your child wears sunscreen, a hat, a sun shirt, and sun shades to avoid getting a sunburn. Also you need to avoid taking your little one out in direct sunlight from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., when the sun's UV rays are the highest.     


Source: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/sunburn-topic-overview

Monday, April 20, 2015

Got Snow?!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
I hear the weather down in the lower 48 is getting warmer. Meanwhile, it's still snowing up here. This weekend we went hiking in the pass. It was still a winter wonderland! Trekking in the snow with a toddler-is that possible? Sure it is! You just need the right gear.

Snow boots
A good pair of snow boots are a must. They need to be waterproof and have plenty of insulation to keep your little one's feet warm and dry. I'm a big fan of lightweight insulation, especially for kids. My kiddo sports Kamik's.

Snow suit
Here is another snow trekking necessity. It too must be water-resistant and have plenty of insulation for playing in the snow. I'm a big fan of the grow-with-your-child products. That way you can at least get two seasons use before your child outgrows it. I like Columbia snow suits.

Your child needs a warm pair of mittens. They need to be waterproof or water-resistant and preferably not cotton. Cotton traps moisture and moisture + cold = frostbite. Opt for a completely synthetic fabric, wool, leather, or fur. Here too, I like Columbia.

Base layers
Always dress your little one in layers. Thermals are great. Preferably use the moisture-wicking kind. That way if your child gets hot you can always remove one layer. Even with socks you need to layer or use non-cotton, moisture-wicking material to prevent sweating. Sweating leads to moisture accumulation which can also lead to frostbite.

Be sure to outfit your kiddo with a warm hat. I like fleece hats with ear flaps. If its really cold I will top it off with a fur(or faux fur) cap. Mostly though we just throw the snow suit's hood up and roll.

Don't forget that you're out to have fun! Pack snowshoes, hiking sticks, skis, and whatever else you enjoy! We like to carry a sled so we can pull our son when he gets tired. And don't forget the Hot Hands for a quick warm-up. And, as always, you need to pack a first aid kit and an emergency blanket.

Afterwards, take the kids in for cocoa and warm up by the fire!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

3 Ointments Every Mom Must Have!

Image result for petroleum jelly, bacitracin, A&D ointmentImage result for petroleum jelly, bacitracin, A&D ointmentImage result for petroleum jelly, bacitracin, A&D ointment

Every mom should have these 3 ointments in their medicine cabinet! Tried-and-true, cheap, and effective, they can be used in a myriad of different ways.

Vitamin A&D ointment
A must-have for diaper rash and other skin rashes! I tried several of those (pediatrician recommended) zinc oxide butt pastes for diaper rash shortly after my son was born. They only made things worse in my son's case. So I went back to the original 'tried-and-true' A&D ointment for treating all of his diaper rashes. It works like a charm! And I see results the next day after application. I also use it for heat rash as well. A must-have for parents of little ones with sensitive skin!

Antibiotic ointment
Have a boo-boo? Then you definitely need to have antibiotic ointment on hand. It helps heal the wound faster and helps kill all those yucky germs that could cause an infection. At my house, our go-to antibiotic ointment is Bacitracin. That's mostly because Granddad is allergic to the neomycin in Neosporin. But there's also Polysporin(neomycin-free) as well as a ton of store brands to choose from. Just be sure to avoid using it in or around the eyes!

Petroleum Jelly
Great used as a preventative barrier for diaper rash or for chapped, dry skin. I use petroleum jelly all the time on my lips to prevent chapping and cracking. I also use it on my son's lips and on his dry, chapped skin in winter. There are many store brands that are under $1 for a small tub. And brand name Vaseline only costs a little bit more. Plus you can use it around the home to lubricate sliding door tracks and other fittings. And you can also rub it on your vehicle's door seals in winter to help keep your doors from freezing shut. And let's face it, toddler's are notorious for sticking their fingers in tiny places and getting them stuck-it's great for that too!

All 3 of these ointments can be used to temporarily protect & heal minor scrapes, cuts, and burns. However, you should not apply them to serious cuts & burns. For treatment of serious injuries you should see your doctor.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Slow-Cooker Pork Roast With Vegetables

Need a hearty family meal idea that's under $15? Then try our slow-cooker pork roast with vegetables!

1 2lb. pork shoulder roast
1 small bag of carrots
3 sliced white potatoes
1 cup apple juice
1 large onion, chopped
seasonings(1 tsp. meat tenderizer, 1tsp. cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. salt)

Place pork roast on top of vegetables in slow cooker. Add apple juice and seasonings. Cook on high for 7-8 hours until meat falls off the bone and the vegetables are tender. Great alone or with a salad!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cool Glass Painting Project

Check out this cool glass painting project I did with my little one! I remember doing one of these in grade school for my mother. Mine was of a fruit bowl printout, but here I actually traced the photograph from my article Be Bear Aware! This would be a neat process for a family photograph too. Keep in mind that whatever you trace will be on the opposite side in the finished picture.
Here's what you need:
a glass picture frame
acrylic paints
artist brushes
permanent marker
your favorite photograph or picture
First remove the glass from the frame and place it on top of the photograph. Then trace the outline onto the glass with the permanent marker. Then it's time to paint! You need to paint the glass on the same side you traced with the marker. You may want to do it in layers, letting each one dry in between. This helps with preventing paint transfer to unwanted areas. When finished painting, let dry several hours before inserting back into the frame. When you place the glass painting back into the frame, be sure to put the painted side on the inside of the frame. This will protect it as well as allow you to see the outline of the overall finished picture.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mom's Super! Nachos

I lived on these growing up! Some families had Taco Tuesday, well we had Super Nacho Night! And now I make them for my own family. My son devours them! Definitely a crowd pleaser for game day or a week night!
Ingredients: (can be easily doubled)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 15oz. can chili beans
1 taco seasoning packet
nacho chips
Toppings: (optional)
chopped tomatoes
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
green olives
sliced jalapenos
sour cream
Brown ground beef on stovetop at med/high heat. Add taco seasoning packet and chili beans. Stir to combine. Lower heat to medium and let heat through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when hot and thoroughly combined. Put on top of nacho chips and add all of the toppings you love. From the stovetop to the table in under 30 minutes!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How To Avoid Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease can be debilitating. Over ten years ago, my husband contracted it in North Carolina, and to this day he still suffers from decreased stamina, decreased immune system and Lyme Arthritis.

What is Lyme Disease? It is a tick-borne illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria is transmitted to the individual through the bite of the black-legged tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic "bull's eye" skin rash called erythema migrans. It is usually successfully treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. However a few people continue to suffer long-term effects from the disease.

To reduce your chance of contracting Lyme Disease, you need to reduce your chance of being bitten by ticks. When outdoors in wooded areas, be sure to use bug repellant. And wear clothes that cover your exposed skin. Walk in the center of hiking trails to avoid being close to high grass and bushes, where ticks hide. A vaccine used to be available, but was discontinued because of low consumer demand.

As soon as you are done outdoors, you need to come home and bathe. Also you need to perform a whole body "tick-check," especially on children. Be sure to check under the arms, hair, belly button, and all the other cracks and crevices ticks love to hide out. Remove any ticks you find, being sure to remove their head along with their body. Tweezers and rubbing alcohol can help with this.

Be sure to check all of your gear too. Ticks like to hitch a ride home with you. Launder all of your clothing immediately to kill any remaining ticks. Make sure to use the highest heat setting when drying.

When we lived in North Carolina, we had a few acres that backed up to the woods. In summer, we had so many black-legged tick nymphs (baby or "seed" ticks) that we had to broadcast pesticide after my husband contracted Lyme Disease. (Literally, you could step into the woods and watch them march by the hundreds up your leg! They were approximately the size of a ball-point pen tip.) While spraying pesticide is not ideal, it is sometimes necessary if you have them in close proximity to your home.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Super Sparkly Fun! Watercolor Salt Paintings

I saw this in the January 2015 issue of Highlights' High Five magazine and had to try it with my son. He loves any painting project! We really enjoyed the process and it turned out beautifully!

Here's what you need:
watercolor paper
watercolor paints
artist brushes
First you need to paint a light layer of water over your paper. Then let your little artist go to work with the watercolor paints. While the painting is still wet, sprinkle it lightly with salt. Let dry and then brush off excess salt. The salt crystallizes and lightly etches the painting, making it sparkle.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fast Toddler-Approved Stir Fry

In need of a fast, healthy meal? Then try our toddler-approved stir fry! You can finish the meat and vegetables in the time that it takes to cook the rice to accompany it.
1 14oz. bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
4 thin cut pork chops (You can substitute thin chicken breasts as well.)
4 tbsp. of soy sauce
cracked black pepper (to taste)
Marinate pork with 1 tbsp. of soy sauce and cracked black pepper. Heat pan on stove top at high heat. Pour vegetables in the pan and cover. Cook, stirring frequently, until halfway done. Pour in remaining soy sauce. Add pork and cook until done, turning once. Thin cut pork cooks quickly! Be sure not to overcook! Remove pork and continue cooking vegetables until done. Serve with rice.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yummy Cookie Dough Brownies!

Cookie Dough Brownies
These are to die for! I mean they have peanut butter cups in them, need I say more! So rich and delicious!

This yummy recipe comes from our fellow bloggers at Chocolate N' Children. Here's their link: http://www.chocolatenchildren.com/2015/04/cookie-dough-brownies/
Definitely need to try them!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Healthy & Simple Snack-time Dragonflies

It's snack time! Time to try this healthy and fun treat with your kids! And it's a great way to encourage your toddler to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Here's what you need:
an apple (I used a golden delicious, but use whatever your child prefers.)
a carrot (peeled)
a grape ( I used red seedless, but again, use what your child prefers.)
Cut your apple into quarters and remove the core. Then make four thin slices for the wings. Trim the carrot to the length you would like your dragonfly to be. Then assemble everything as shown in the pictures above. Use the grape as the head.
Fun, simple, and healthy! Much better than serving over-processed snacks to your little one. My son usually avoids carrots at all cost, but he actually found them appealing and even ate a few bites when I presented them this way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Awesome Mother's Day Idea- Watercolor Resist Handprint!

Mother's Day is coming up! And what would be a sweeter gift for Mom or Grandmom, than a handprint of her favorite munchkin. And the best thing is that it's super easy to make!

You will need:
watercolor paints
watercolor paper (I used cardstock because it made framing easier.)
artist brushes
First, cover your child's hand thoroughly with Vaseline. Yes, it's supposed to be messy! Then take your child's hand and gently but firmly press it to the paper. Have your child then lift their hand straight up off the paper. Try not to smear. You should be able to see the Vaseline handprint left behind. Then break out the paint and have fun! The Vaseline naturally resists the watercolor paint. When done painting, carefully wipe off excess Vaseline and let dry.
We made Nana and Grandma each one to cherish. They loved it! And, of course, I had to have one also!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How To Treat A Toddler's Cold

Example of an Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Dosage Chart

We've been battling a nasty cold at our house this week. One of the first questions I often get asked as a mother and a nurse is "What do I use to treat my son when he's ill?" Well here's what's in my cold arsenal:

For fever in a toddler, I prefer to use Children's Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Most often I use the chew-tabs, because my son prefers them. But if he is being resistant I will mix a liquid Tylenol dose in with his beverage. Remember to always follow the dosing directions on the package. Most have a weight chart on the back for dosage administration. In addition, if his skin becomes clammy, then I also rub him with a cool, damp washcloth. For a fever higher than 104 degrees or a persistent, long-lasting fever, you need to call the doctor. NEVER give adult Tylenol to a child. It is a much higher dosage and is not safe. And aspirin should NEVER be used in children because it can cause deadly Reye's Syndrome.

For minor pain, Tylenol chew-tabs are still my first choice. But for more severe pain, such as in the case of an ear ache, I use liquid Children's Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). As with Tylenol, Ibuprofen is dosed according to your child's weight. I always give it with milk or a meal to avoid stomach upset. Here, too, you need to always follow the dosage directions on the package. And NEVER give adult Ibuprofen to a child.

Most traditional over-the-counter cough and cold medicines CANNOT be used in toddlers because they contain Dextromethorphan, a medication which is unsafe in children under 6. However there are several homeopathic over-the-counter remedies available for children over 2. I have tried several and found most ineffective. The only one that seems to take the edge off of my son's cough is Similasan's Cough & Fever Relief. It is dosed according to age. Mostly though I rely on home remedies too soothe coughing in my little one. Honey is a natural cough suppressant. And warm liquids such as chicken broth can soothe coughing as well as a sore throat. And exposure to steam or a humidifier also helps quell a croupy cough. If it's nasal drainage that's causing the cough, then be sure to give your child plenty of liquids to drink to thin out nasal secretions. You can also use over-the-counter Saline spray for nasal congestion in your toddler.

Preventing Dehydration
Lots of time when a child is sick they will refuse to eat or drink. But it's highly important to prevent them from becoming dehydrated. Pedialyte makes a great line of juices and popsicles that combat dehydration. However, my son dislikes the taste of these, so I use Gatorade as a fallback and natural fruit popsicles. If your toddler DOES NOT have at least 1 wet (pee) diaper every 8 hours or becomes lethargic or listless, then you need to call your pediatrician immediately!

Get well soon!

Monday, April 6, 2015

10 Toddler Antics That Drive Me Crazy!

Does your toddler ever drive you crazy? Mine certainly does. Some days I think he even pushes my buttons on purpose! Here's the top 10 things my son does that grate my nerves!

Whining! Who doesn't this drive insane? I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and make it disappear!

Tantrums! OMG my two year old has one every time he feels slighted or doesn't get his way.

Yelling! Whether extremely happy or extremely mad, boy, who knew a kid had such a set of lungs!

Pulling out what I just picked up! I pick it up off the floor and put it in the basket, then my kid see's fit to dump the entire basket back on the floor and scatter it everywhere.

Eating off the floor! Why does every toddler have to eat of the floor? It's so gross!

Never sleeping! My son never sleeps all night! (Yes, we've tried all the tips and tricks in the world!) Which means I haven't gotten a full night's sleep since he was born!

24/7 Neediness! Yes, I get it, they're dependent on us for survival. But some days I just can't wait to drop my son off at daycare. Then I just want to come home to our quiet house afterwards and scream "FREEDOM!" Braveheart style. (Mommies need downtime too!)

Pickiness! Whether it's the food they will eat or the way they want something done. And just when you think you've gotten all their quirks down, they change their minds!

Fidgeting! Just sit still already!

Ignoring me! Son, please don't do that! Son, you're going to get hurt if you do that! Son...stop! Son...WAAAAHH! I told you to stop for that reason!

I'm sure all you Mommies out there can relate! What are some of the things your child does that drive you crazy?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Heart-Shaped Hand Cut-Out

I needed a quick craft project to keep my toddler entertained for a few minutes because it's snowing here again-sigh! I have to give my wonderful sister-in-law credit for pinning this one on Pinterest! Here's the link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/530791506058473443/
It's a super cute idea! And even though ours isn't picture perfect (wiggling toddler lol), I still treasure it as any mom would! :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Be Bear Aware!

Brown Bear by Amy Turberville

Spring is here! The ice is disappearing, the mountain goats are basking in the cliffside sun, and the seals and beluga whales are playing in the harbor. And the brown and black bears are emerging from their hibernation dens. So before heading into the backcountry to frolic yourself, remember it pays to be bear aware!
  • Never hike alone! Always take a buddy, even a furry one is better than nothing! And let someone know where you are going!
  • Pack bear spray! And a first aid kit.
  • While in the woods make lots of noise. Or wear bells! You don't want to surprise a bear!
  • Do not attempt to feed a bear! We personally knew someone that had a habit of this-needless to say one day the black bears she had become accustomed to feeding put her on the menu. All that was left were a few bones and pieces of clothing.
  • Bears are fun to watch-from a distance! Do not get too close. Especially to a mother bear with cubs.
  • Don't leave food in your car or down at your campsite, unless you want them both destroyed!
  • Always be on the lookout for signs of bear activity in your area-scat, hair, tree clawing. While hiking last weekend we came across a tree clawing that had several tufts of brown hair embedded in it. And it was a good six feet tall or more! So that let us know that we needed to be aware that brown bears had been in the area!
  • Which brings me to this-carry a firearm for protection! Be sure to always obey all local, state, and park regulations. But when hiking in bear country this could be the difference between life and death!
Following these few rules can keep you from being attacked by a bear. And remember if you encounter a bear unexpectedly, try first to slowly back away, DO NOT RUN! If it attacks, and you do not have a weapon, then do your best to ball up and cover your head and neck from damage.

Hike safely and enjoy the season!